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No. 105 MARCH 1970 





Minister Deputy Minister 


NO. 105 ~" MftitC H, 1970 


1 In heading, 6th line, delete "Lake Simcoe District". 

1 No. 1, (b) , 5th line, after "white" insert "pine, basswood, white 
elm, white". 

2 No. 1, (d), 1st paragraph, 3rd line, after "rather" insert "than". 
2 No. 1, (e), 2nd paragraph, 1st line, delete "the", insert "its". 

4 No. 3, (a), 4th line, delete "growth", insert "grown". 

5 No. 3, (d) , last line, after "moist" insert "forest". 

6 No. 3, (d) , 2nd paragraph, 13th line, delete "shade", insert 

10 No. 5, (a), 4th paragraph, last line, delete "germinating", 

insert "germination". 

13 No. 6, (b) , 1st line on page, not a new paragraph. 

14 No. 7, (a), 1st paragraph, 7th line, after "grow" insert "to". 
14 In footnotes, 1st line, delete "from", insert "form of". 

36 No. 3, (b), 2nd paragraph, 14th line, delete "DBH", insert "dbh". 

44 No. 3, (a), 2nd paragraph, 1st line, delete first "The", insert 


44 No. 3, (a), 2nd paragraph, 4th line, before "largo" insert "last". 

55 No. 4, (e), 2nd paragraph, last line, delete "that", insert "than" 

53 No. 6, 1st paragraph, 5th line, delete "is", insert "are". 

53 No. 6, 2nd paragraph, 5th line, after "area" delete ",". 

59 No. 6, 4th paragraph on page, 3rd line, delete "patch", insert 


No. 105 

MARCH 1970 





Mini ster 

Deputy Minister 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2013 


No. 105 March 1970 



- A. P. Matiece 

1. Forest Geography 1 

(a) Range 1 

(b) Forest Associations 1 

(c) Climate 1 

(d) Physiography 2 

(e) Successional Trends 2 

2. Economics 3 

(a) Markets 3 

(b) Other Uses 4 

3. Silvics 4 

(a) Morphology 4 

(b) Flowering and Fruiting 4 

(c) Seed Production and Dissemination 5 

(d) Germination, Seedling Development, Mortality 5 

(e) Provenance 6 

(f) Vegetative Reproduction 7 

(g) Rooting Habits 7 
(h) Growth Characteristics 7 

4. Ecology 8 

(a) Local Climate 8 

(b) Light 9 

(c) Moisture 9 

(d) Soil 9 

5. Artificial Reproduction 10 

(a) Seed Collection, Extraction, Storage and Testing 10 

(b) Planting 11 

(c) Direct Seeding 11 

6. Natural Reproduction 12 

(a) Seedbed 12 

(b) Light 12 

(c) Cutting Methods 13 

7. External Influences 14 

(a) Response to Release 14 

(b) Exposure 14 

(c) Fertilization 15 


External Influences (continued) 



















- H. R. Timmerman 



- J. M. Collins 


EASTERN HEMLOCK (Tsuga can adensis) : 

A. P. MATIECE, Deer Range Forester 
Lake Simcoe District 


(a) Range 

Hemlock occurs in southern Canada, the northeast 
U.S.A., the Lake States, and throughout the Appalachian Mountains 
to Georgia. In the northern part of its range it is found at 
altitudes from sea level to 2,500 feet; in the south it is not 
usually found below o00 feet (48). 

In Canada, hemlock is found throughout the Mari- 
time Provinces, in southwe stern Quebec, and in southern Ontario 
as far west as Lake Superior (4). 

(k ) Fores t As sociat ions 

Hemlock is a constant element in the forest of the 
northern hardwood region, occurring nixed with hardwoods, particu- 
larly sugar maple, beech and yellow birch. It is also found in 
nure patches of various size. In the northern part of its range 
hemlock may be found with sugar mar>le, beech, yellow birch, white 
ash, red spruce, balsam fir, red maole and red oak. In the south 
it is usually found with shagbark hickory, tulip tree, basswood, 
and various oaks (5, 48, 79). 

(c) Climate 

The climate which favours hemlock and determines its 
commercial range is predominately humid and cool (53, 93). Ex- 
aminations of pollen grains in bogs in the southern U.S. indicates 
that hemlock was once found considerably farther south and west 
of its present range (16, 92). After the last period of glaciation, 
about 11,000 or 12,000 years ago, a series of major climatic 
changes brought about corresponding changes in forest vegetation. 
After the ice receded a cold climate featured fir-spruce forests 
which was followed by a cool dry period that favoured pines as 
the major species. This was followed by a cool, moist climate 
favouring hemlock and hardwoods, and a warm dry period featuring 
oak-hickory forests (12, 91, 92). In Sanada 

the V7arra, dry oak-hickory period did not occur. 

(d) Physiography 

Within its commercial range hemlock grows on a 
wide range of soil conditions. It is more abundant and thrives 
better under cool and moist, rather dry conditions (34, 48, 52, 
97). Near the edge of its range its tolerance of soil and site 
conditions becomes more critical (37, 38, 53, 57). 

In the 1^7 Jihgland states Merril and Hawley (76) 
claim that stand history ^cutting, fire), more than the soil is 
likely to exert an influence on the presence or absence of 
hemlock. It is unlikely that the situation in southern Ontario 
differs in this respect. 

(e ) Succassiona l Trends 

Throughout its commercial range hemlock is accepted 
as being a climax species, either by itself or in association with 
beech or sugar maple. After a major disturbance the forest consists 
first of pioneer species such as pincherry, aspen, white birch, 
then pre-climax species such as white nine, red maple, red oak, 
red spruce, and finally the climax species of hemlock, beech and 
sugar maple (20, 65, 77, 97, 106). 

Hemlock comes in under hardwoods and because of the 
high tolerance to shade and its longevity and size, it can endure 
and gradually penetrate the canopy and become the dominant species. 
If a hemlock under story is present and the overhead canopy is 
disturbed by cutting, windstorm, or disease, the young hemlock will 
become dominant and the successionai trend will be speeded up. In 
Nex* England, Pearson (o7) reports that hemlock spreads by seeding in 
under hardwoods adjacent to existing hemlock stands and develops in 
a concentric fashion around a central core of older trees. Martin 
(72) indicates that in undisturbed conditions in Algonquin Park, 
hemlock is slowly spreading throughout the hardwood forest. Bard (9) 
concludes that if no fires or other major disturbances were to 
take place, hemlock would continue as the dominant species since 
it is self-perpetuating. At the edges oc its range hemlock is not 
the climax species. For example, in Quebec where the boreal forest 
meets the Great Lakes - 3t. Lawrence forest, Dansereau (25) reports 
that hemlock is sub-climax to the deciduous forest. 


(a) Markets 

Hemlock bark contains between 10 and 13% tannin 
and in the past was an important source of tanning material. 
Between 1850 and 1900 huge quantities of hemlock were cut for 
bark to supply numerous tanneries both in Canada and the U.S. 
Tanbark production figures from 1871 to 1901 as found in The 
Canada Year Book 1905 (1) show an increase, a leveling off 
and a decrease as the industry passed through its most active 
phase (Table 1). 




1871 162,521 

1831 400,418 

1891 329,797 110,111 

1901 100,712 52,942 

Siracoo County was the mam producer of tanbark 
in southern Ontario, producing as much as nine adjacent counties 
(6). In the U.S. tanbark production dropped from 1,170,131 
cords in 1900 to 799,755 cords in 1905 and to 698,365 cords in 
1909 (40). Pennsylvania was the largest producer with Wisconsin, 
Michigan, New York and TJest Virginia following in respective 
order. The value of hemlock lumber during this period was so 
low that very rarely was any part of the tree other than the 
bark used. 

More recently the market for hemlock lumber and 
pulp^'ocd has improved. The wood is inclined to be somewhat 
splintery and cross-grained, and is used more for rough con- 
struction work than in a dressed condition. Typical uses are 
for structural timbers, bridge planks, railway ties (treated), 
boxes and crates, general construction and "or pulp (74). 

* Sales of Hemlock bark, though nominally b}r the cord were actually 
b3/ the ton, and in most cases the cord must x^eigh 2,240 lb. One 
cord of dry, curled up bark might measure 4' x 4 f x 12' instead 
of 4' x 4' x 8 1 , the standard cord sise. (40) 


(b) Other Uses 

Hemlock rates high in aesthetic value. It 
is highly favoured as an ornamental, particularly in U.S.A. 
and Europe (90). It is able to withstand the impacts of 
recreational use (camping and picnicing) better than most 
species as gauged by susceptability to disease, insect in- 
fection and decline in vigour (88). It makes an excellent 
hedge and is sometimes used for Christmas trees. It is an 
important species in deer range, particularly in late 
winter providing both food and cover for wildlife (50, 53). 
The needles of hemlock tops felled in logging are eaten by 
deer. Measurements by Stoeckeler et al (104) in the northern 
hardwood -hemlock forest type show that hemlock will produce 
117 pounds of fresh browse per square foot of basal area, 
as compared with 13 pounds for hardwoods. Browse production 
per M FBM (gross) of sawlogs cut is 1,507 pounds for hemlock 
as compared with 121 pounds for hardwoods. 


(a) Morphology 

Hemlock is a long lived, mediism sized tree reaching 
a height of 60-70 feet, and a diameter of 2 - 3 feet. The record 

for age is 988 years for d.b.h. 34 inches, and for total height 

160 feet (2). Onen growth trees develop dense pyramidal 

crox-Tns with the lower branches touching the ground. The terminal 
shoot is flexible and tends to curve away from the direction of 
the prevailing wind. Self pruning is very poor. Dead branches 
remain on the tree for many years (40). 

& ) F lowering and Fru iting 

The fruiting stage begins when the tree is between 
20 and 50 years old and 15 to 25 feet high and continues until the 
tree is over 400 years old. Suppressed trees under dense canopy 
do not fruit regardless of age (3, 17, 53). 

Separate male and female "lowers are found on the 
same tree and appear in May or early June. Staminate flowers appear 
before pistillate flowers (90). Pollination is by wind and maxi- 
mum pollen receptivity takes place about a week before the lower 
bud scales of the conelet turn back (01). After the pollen reaches 
the female flower a period of about si:: weeks elapses before 
fertilization takes place (81, 05). Cones mature by September or 
October but are still green, wet and oily. The colour of the cone 

changes from green to tan to brown and it then begins to open. 
Hough (53) reports that only the central part of the cone 
bears seed. 

( c ) Seed Production jmd ^Dis s emina t ion 

Hemlock is well knox-7n as a prolific seeder, 
producing abundant seed at 2 - 3 year intervals with light 
crops in intervening years. Seed dissemination takes place in 
fall and winter. The hygroscopic cone scales open when dry, 
close when x^et (2, 17, 19) and most of the seed is shed during 
the first few periods of dry windy weather. This favours wide 
seed dispersal. Olson et al (84), working in Connecticut, 
state that much of the wintershed seed is sterile. 

In good seed years huge quantities of hemlock seed 
are produced. Lutz and Cline (66) in the Harvard Forest, 
calculated that 11,700,000 sound seeds per acre were produced, 
while Davis and Hart (29) at the Northeastern Forest Experiment 
station, calculated that 13 1/2 million sound seeds per acre 
were produced. This is considerably more than needed to ad- 
equately seed the area. Hemlock seeds are relatively small, 
about 200,000 seeds per pound (3, 48, 53). The cones persist on 
the tree, after seed dispersal, until the following year. 

(d) Germi nation, Seedling Development, Mor tality 

Stratification (cold, moist storage) is probably 
the most important factor affecting germination. Olson et al. (84) 
and Heit and Eliason (49) say that new seed is incapable of 
rapid germination in the fall when it is shed. Without stratifi- 
cation average germination is about 20 - 30%. Baldwin (7) found 
that germination increased from 7 to 45% with 30 - day stratifica- 
tion and from 32 to 59% with 45 - day stratification. Further 
tests by Baldwin (C) confirmed this, showing stratification at 
39° to 50° F for 1-2 months averaged twice as high germination 
after 30 days, three times after 60 da3^s and nearly four times 
after 90 days than untreated seed. Under natural conditions, cold 
moist stratification takes place during the winter and the seed is 
ready for quick germination in the spring. Moist soil conditions 
are necessary for rapid development of a root system and initial 
survival of the newly germinated seedlings. If, due to lack of 
stratification, incomplete stratification, or other causes, 
germination is delayed until late in spring, the probability of 
survival is greatly reduced (84) . Many of the newly germinated 
seedlings will die during the summer when the soil becomes drier. 
A wet summer resulting in a moist floor will ensure good survival 


of hemlock seedlings. On the other hand, dry summers will 
result in complete mortality of hemlock seedlings. Friesner 
and' Potzger (39) in Indiana say that mortality of hemlock 
seedlings is greatest in the first year and tapers off gradually 
from there. Each added year of age, other things being equal, 
gives the hemlock seedlings a better chance of survival. Davis 
and Hart (29) at the Northeastern Forest Experiment Station 
found that under normal circumstances, about 37 Q of the original 
germinants will still be living after four years. 

Shade plays an important part in the initial 
survival and early development of hemlock. Establishment is better 
in the shade than in full sun because of the drying effect of the 
sun. Also, full sunlight can cause dark coloured seedbeds to 
reach temperatures as high as 165° F, lethal to young seedlings 
(53). Because Hemlock is a shade tolerant tree it can survive 
and grow in the shade o: o--her trees for long periods of time. 
Grasovsky (46) reports that if root competition were not present, 
hemlock could survive under light conditions considerably lower 
than that found in natural forest conditions. In New England, 
Lutz (65) found hemlock regeneration was abundant in small open- 
ings where partial or full shade is provided during the hottest 
part of the day. Onl}' the south side of the strip (the shade 
side) had hemlock regeneration on cut strips. Martin (72) says 
that hemlock in Algonquin Park will regenerate where mineral 
soil is not covered with a deep layer of litter. 

Koroleff (59) after consulting with a number of 
foresters, both from Canada and the U.S., concludes that hard- 
wood leaf litter is detrimental to natural regeneration of hemlock. 
Seeds may fail to germinate or germinate but fail on top of, 
between or under fallen leaves. Small seedlings may be damaged 
by mechanical act5.on of leaves (blown by xvind), or small seed - 
lings may be killed by leaves which pile on top of them. A 
single leaf falling on top of a cotyledon is sufficient to kill 
it. Mortality from leaves is particularly bad in furrows where 
leaves tend to collect and up to 100% of first year seedlings 
may be smothered by heavy lea 1 : fall. Other studies by Davis and 
Hart (29) and by Hough (51) confirm that hardwood leaf litter is 
an important cause o p mortality of first year seedlings . 

(e) Provenanc e 

Observations by Nienstaldt, Olson, and others (CO, 
02, S3, 84, 85) in the New England States and the Lake States in- 
dicate that seedlings grown from southern seed source will grow 


for a longer period of time than will those from northern seed 
sources. This results in more growth per season for the south- 
ern seeds. However, the southern seedlings do not harden off 
soon enough in the fall and are susceptible to frost damage. 
Similarly, mountain types tend to go dormant earlier than nearby 
lowland types. Because of this, seed should come from areas with 
a climate like that prevailing where the trees are to be grown. 

(f) Vegetative Re production 

Hemlock does not sprout naturally but may be 
propagated by cuttings. Doran (30) reports that rooting is im- 
proved by treatment with root- indue ing substances (indolebutyric 
acid, Hormondin No. 3). Rooting of one year old twigs is better 
than two year old or three year old twigs. These techniques are 
suitable for horticultural purposes but are not practical in 

A form of vegetative reproduction has been ob- 
served in cut-over areas in northern New Jersey (27, 28). Hem- 
lock stumps were putting on annual rings even though no leaf or 
branch growth was present. In these instances a root graft to 
an adjacent living hemlock tree was found to be responsible. 

(g) Rooting Habits 

The root system of hemlock is generally shallow 
and spreading. This results in it being susceptible to damage by 
surface fires, exposure, and drying out of the upper layers of 
the soil. This type of root system, hox-jever, allows the tree to 
grow on shallow, rocky soil where deep rooted species could not 
become established. 

1 ) Growth Characteris tics 

The growth rate of hemlock in its natural condition 
is ordinarily slow. For example, Morey (73) sampled seedlings and 
advance growth under natural conditions in northwestern Pennsylvania 
and found the following: 

Heigh t ( feet) Age 

2 20 

3 25 

4 29 

Uith enough light growth can be rapid however. Vigorous seedlings 
and saplings in light to medium shade nay grow 8-12 inches ?si 


height per year, and in full sun with ample soil moisture, the 
growth may be 18 inches or more (2) . Height growth begins early 
in the spring (coincident with the start of needle growth) but 
the rate is less than for ether species. However, the growth 
continues cor a long period of time (85 to 95 days in New York 
and Massachusetts) and thus outgrows many other species (21, 61, 
62). Kozlowski (60, 61) says that height growth is closely 
related to moisture conditions in the year preceding as a result 
of the shoots being morphologically determined in the buds laid 
down that year. 

Diameter growth initiation in early spring may be 
confused with rehydration of stem tissues. Considerable shrinking 
and swelling in diameter takes place with changes in moisture. In 
midwinter hemlock will decrease in diameter about 50% of the radial 
increase from summer growth (60, 61, 107, 103). 

Diameter increment of hemlock begins in the spring 
earlier than for associated hardwoods. In the Chalk River, Ontario 
area, diameter increment begins about the middle of Kay and by the 
first week in August is practically completed (10) . Diameter in- 
crement begins earlier, increases more rapidly, and lasts longer 
for hemlock than for hardwoods. Frase-r (35) reports that the actual 
time of commencement of radial growth is controlled by the late, 
winter and early spring temperatures. Lack of moisture in mid- 
summer will slow down or stop growth. Measurements in 
Wisconsin by Winget and Kozlowski (103) indicate that suppressed 
trees are more sensitive to changes in environment than are dominant 
trees . 

Because individual trees may have been suppressed 
for periods of time up to 200 years, any correlation between diameter 
and age is unreliable. Gates and Nichols (41) state that most 
mature hemlock stands have a good representation of trees of all 
ages and so these hemlock stands could be considered all aged. 


(a) Local Climate 

.ock prefers cool, moist conditions. It is 
usually more abundant on cool north e:nosures, steep banks of 
river gorges, sides of cool ravines, swamp borders, and through- 
out upland forests of white pine and hardwoods where drought 
conditions are not present. Hemlock in pure stands produces an 
e;;tremely dense canopy. As a result, the microclimate beneath 
hemlock differs from the regional or open-station climate and 
7rom that of adjacent hardwood stands, esnecially during the 


growing season. Measurements have shown that this microclimate 
is cooler and there is less evaporation during the growing 
season (53). 

(b) Light 

Light 5.ntensity under Dure hemlock stands is 
reduced to 5 - 6% of open light intensity. Hemlock seedlings 
are able to survive these conditions if soil moisture and 
nutrients are sufficient. (Refer to 3 (d) this report) 
In natural stands advance-growth hemlock often undergoes 
periods of suppression ranging from 25 to over 200 years 
(53). Under pure hemlock stands the ground cover is usually 
formed exclusively of raw humus plants. Shrub vegetation and 
seedlings of other species are usually absent. 

(c) Moisture 

Lyon (67) in New Hampshire and Marshall (70) in 
Massachusetts report that a definite correlation between rainfall 
and diameter increment for hemlock exists, particularly for hem- 
lock which is groining on dry sites. Hemlock which grows on very 
moist sites does not show this relationship. Diameter growth of 
trees groining in moist conditions is greater than growth of trees 
.growing on dry ridge conditions. In New England, Burns (14) 
found that an increase in soil moisture results in an increase 
of tolerance to shade and Bard (9) stated that higher moisture 
(both atmosphere and soil moisture) favours the establishment of 
hemlock regeneration. Drinkwater (32) found that light rains have 
little effect on soil because much of the moisture is intercepted 
by the dense canopy and evaporates before reaching the ground. 

(d) Soil 

Hemlock stands produce a dry, acid litter which 
decomposes very slowly (12, 32, 89). The nil of the upper soil 
layers seldom exceeds 5.0 and is more commonly between 3.5 and 
4.5 (12, 52, 53). This high acidity fosters podzalization 
(leaching) of the upper soil layers. Even though the subsoil under 
a hemlock stand and sn adjoining hardwood stand may be similar, the 
surface soil under the hemlock will be more acid. Laboratory 
experiments using seedlings in biotite showed that the pH changed 
from 5.4 to 4.2 during the growth period of hemlock seedlings (98). 

Because of dry loose litter under hemlock stands 
the soil temperature fluctuates more readily with changes in air 
temperature than under hardwood stands where the leaf layer acts 


as an insulation (26, 36). 

Due to the dense shade, dry, acid litter, and 
shallow rooting creating severe root competition in the upper 
soil layers, a young, fully -stocked stand of hemlock may exclude 
any further reproduction of hemlock or any other wood or non- 
woody vegetation for long periods (5, 55). 


(a) Seed Colle ction, Extraction, Storage and Testing 

Good seed years occur at 2 - 3 year intervals and 
yields tend to be poor the first season after a good year. Cones 
are most readily collected from the tops of trees felled in 
normal cutting operations. There is a variation in time between 
individual trees when cones change from green to tan. If cones 
are picked green and dried quickly, they may turn pink or 
purple rather than tan and fail to open unless subjected to 
repeated cycles of re-wetting and drying at 100°F. 

Cones collected just as they are turning brown will 
open readily in the sun or in a dry room. They should be spread 
out for a week or two and stirred occasionally so they will dr}? 
quickly and not become contaminated by moulds . Green cones are 
not only hard to open but are more subject to moulds. 

Seed can be stored for 2-4 years in jars or 
plastic bags a few degrees above freezing, but should be tested 
periodically, as considerable variation in retention of viability 
occurs. Storage at temperatures below freezing has also been 
used successfully. 

Seeds may be tested by cutting open with a razor 
blade or finger nail to provide an estimate of the percentage of 
filled, firm oily seeds with embryos. The percentage germination 
will usually be less than this test indicates. If a more accu- 
rate estimate is required, an actual germination test must be 
carried out. Germination of hemlock is influenced by the inter- 
action of photoperiod and temperatures, and optimum conditions 
following stratification are 8 to 12 hours of light alternating 
with 16 to 12 hours of total darkness, with corresponding alter- 
nating temperatures of about 70° and 55 F respectively. 
Continuous temperatures in the upper 70' s are definitely un- 
favourable for hemlock germinating (84, 85). 


(b) Planting 

Usually 3 year seedlings (3-0 stock) or 3 year 
transplants (2-1 stock) are sufficiently well rooted and of 
suitable size for out -planting. Poor survival of hemlock when 
planted in the open is usually due to a lack of favourable 
soil moisture conditions. Planting tests carried out at the 
Northeastern Forest Experiment Station have shown that hemlock 
will have good survival and growth rate if planted in orchard 
type (mixed bush and openings) or under^lanted in a pole timber 
stand (58). In the latter situation a thinning of the overstory 
will be necessary to release the hemlock. 

If seedlings are required for planting in the 
spring earlier than the nursery is able to supply them, they 
may be lifted from the nursery beds in the fall and stored over- 
winter near the planting site. Tests by the Research Division, 
Ontario Department of Lands and Forests have shown that ordinary 
storage at 32°F or slightly less with a constant and high 
relative humidity will enable the planting stock to be success- 
fully carried over winter either loose or in crates. No elaborate 
mechanism is needed and a simple insulated building is adequate 
for storage (63). 

( c ) Di rect Seeding 

Seed should come from areas with a climate like 
that prevailing where the trees are to be grown. If seed is 
purchased, its age and source have a bearing on germination and 
development ('see 3 (e) and 5 (a) this rer>ort). If seeding is 
done in the spring, the seed must be stratified. Seed sown in 
the fall will be naturally stratified and ready for quick germ- 
ination in the spring. However, there nay be overwinter losses 
to rodents, birds, fungi or other causes. Tests by Jordan and 
Sharp (58) in Pennsylvania, suggest that seeding in the or>en or 
under a closed canopy will probably give poor results; seeding 
in orchard types (mixed bush and openings) will likely give 
better results. In all cases a suitable seed bed as indicated 
in section 6 (a) of this report is required. 



(a) Seedbed 

Dry litter seedbeds are unfavourable for germina- 
tion of hemlock. Maissurow (69) contends that fire is necessary 
for the natural regeneration of hemlock but this is questioned 
by Graham (42) and others (see 1 (e) and 7 (h) this report). 
Favourable seedbeds consist of moist, well decomposed litter, 
rotted stumps and logs, mineral soil, moss, or even moss- 
covered boulders. After germination, continuing moist 
conditions are necessary for survival. Hough (51) in Pennsylvania 
and Olson et al (35) in Connecticut report that naturally shaded 
seedbeds are usually sufficiently moist in early spring for 
initial survival but summer drought may eliminate many of the 
seedlings. Mineral soil, although an excellent seedbed for 
germination, subjects the young seedlings to washing-out or 
mudding-under in heavy rains and to frost heaving. In addi- 
tion, exposure to direct sunlight and the resultant high 
temperatures can kill the young seedlings either directly or 
through drying out the upper layer of soil. Germination of 
hemlock on mineral soil can be very high. Davis and Hart (29) 
report up to 3.8 million seedlings per acre, so even though 
mortality might be high, sufficient numbers may remain. Mineral 
soil seedbeds still remain receptive to hemlock four years 
after being exposed. 

A seedbed consisting of a mat of hardwood leaf 
litter is unfavourable for the establishment of hemlock regenera- 
tion. (see 3 (d) this report) Removing hardwood trees to reduce 
the quantity of leaves falling on a newly germinated seedbed 
would eliminate this hazard. On the other hand, a sufficient 
number of overhead trees should be maintained to provide partial 
shade on the seedbed. 

fl>> Light 

In very dense shade conditions, such as under a 
pure young hemlock stand where daylight intensity falls below 100 
foot candles, hemlock will germinate but may subsequently be 
killed or stunted. Bard (9) and Steams (99) report excellent 
hemlock regeneration is obtained in small openings ( ap proximate ly 
0.1 acre) created by natural conditions, e.g. windstorm, or 
artificially, e.g. cutting. Lutz (65) reports that hemlock 
will regenerate well on shaded south sides of cut strips in 


In clear cutting operations, if hemlock is to 
be maintained, it should be established in the understory be- 
fore the overstory is removed. 

(c ) Cutting M ethods 

Clear cutting or making large openings in mixed 
hemlock-hardwood stands will result in dense reproduction of 
hardwood pioneer species, hardwood sprouts, and the virtual 
exclusion of hemlock. The fact that hemlock does not sprout, as 
opposed to hardwoods, and that large openings dry out the site, 
makes this type of cutting unfavourable to regeneration of hen- 
lock. Studies in Nova Scotia by Martin (71) also show that clear 
cutting followed by fire is almost certain to eliminate hemlock. 

Host forms of partial cutting will favour re- 
generation of hemlock, provided that a seed source and a suitable 
seedbed (see 6 (a) this report) is present. First cutting of 
the uniform shelterwood system gives good results , as does group 
selection and strip cuts, particularly if logging is carried out 
in the summer so that accidental scarification takes 10 lace (2.4, 
34, 65, 66, 70). 

Luts and Cline (66) working on the Harvard Forest 
renort that the openings should be at least 40 feet wide in 
group selection cutting. Strips should be oriented in an east- 
west direction since this provides more shade on the south side 
of the strip. Considerable hardwood will probably come in on 
the strips along with the hemlock. 

Seed tree cuts leaving from 1 to 10 hemlock seed 
trees per acres have given natural regeneration of hemlock in 
southern New York (76). Hardwoods come in quite heavily as well 
and if hemlock is wanted, it will be necessary to carry out clean- 

Both Hosley and Ziebarth (50) and Spurr (97) report 
that most of the hemlock stands in Massachusetts present today 
originated either from selective cutting, which removed the hard- 
wood or white pine overstory, freeing the hemlock understory, 
or developed through persistance in areas which had never been 
cut . 

Logging slash of hemlock, which will persist for 
up to 15 years, may interfere x^ith the immediate establishment of 
regeneration if it is dense (24) but probably will have no notice- 
able effect in the ultimate density of stocking (75). 



(a ) Response to Release 

Hemlock has the ability to survive for many }?ears 
in a suppressed condition and then recover and grow at an ac- 
celerated rate when it is released. Marshall (70) reports the 
rate of growth after release was 5 1/2 times what it had been 
before release. Martin (72) tells of one tree in Algonquin 
Park which took 108 years to grow 3 inches d.b.h. under 
suppression and only 80 additional years to grow 20 inches d.b.h. 
after release. The response to release is influenced by 
stand density. Well stocked stands will have greater accelera- 
tion in growth than poorly stocked stands. Tor a given 
diameter the older the tree when released, the greater its re- 
sponse will be. Suppressed trees, after release, generally over- 
take open grown trees (53, 70). 

Results of partial cutting in the Lake States 
show that only the well formed trees are able to respond to re- 
lease. Low vigour trees will probably die when exposed to 
direct sunlight (22). (See 7 (b) this report). hemlock by spraying competing hardwoods 
with Kuron" and 245 OS* showed little damage was done to the 
hemlock by the chemicals, even when spray was applied so heavily 
that it was dripping off the leaves. Spraying took place in 
August when the new growth of conifers had hardened off. Only 
a few terminal buds did not put out new growth the following 
year (68). 

(b) Exposure 

Hemlock is subject to post-logging death because 
of exposure. This applies particularly to low-vigour trees. In 
his studies in northern Michigan, Graham (43) found the amount of 
increased exposure and the size and shape of the crowns of the 

Kuron - a propionic ac5.d from 245T reputed to be more effective 
against maple and oak than the normal acetic acid form 
of 245T. 

245 OS - 245T plus oil stable emulsifier 


residuals have a bearing on susceptibility to exposure. Generally, 
trees having heavy crowns of conical shape are able to withstand 
exposure, and those having narrow, flat-topped crowns are not 
able to withstand exposure. Exposure on the south and west is 
more likely to cause death than exposure from other directions. 
Hemlock is likely to die if sunlight falls directly on the trunk 
and exposed roots. 

When cutting, any groups of hemlock to be left 
should be sheltered especially from the south and west by maple or 
other trees that are resistant to exposure. All hemlock with 
short or narrow crowns should either be marked for cutting or, 
if reserved, left completely sheltered from the south and west 
sides. Most hemlock with crowns at least 25 feet wide and 
occupying 2/3 or more of the total height may be exposed without 
much danger of injury, but if practicable, even these should be 
given some protection from the south-west. 

Burnham et al (13) in Pennsylvania and Lutz (65) 
in southern New England recommend release of hemlock seedlings 
or suppressed hemlock from hardwood overstory should be gradual 
in order to minimise damage from exposure. Observations of 
cutting operations in the northeastern United States indicate 
that partial cutting or thinning of a hemlock, stand should be 
light in order to hold hemlock mortality to a minimum (33, 64). 

( c ) Fertilization 

Although hemlock seedlings can survive at a low 
level of nutrition, growth can be increased several- fold by main- 
taining nutrition at moderate levels, llaintenance of high levels 
of nutrition, or the continuance of fertilization and watering 
into the late summer or fall should be avoided because the slants 
may continue growth too late in the season and might not be 
sufficiently hardened off before cold weather sets in. Over- 
fertilization of large hemlock increases their susceptibility 
to -^ bizoctonia , a root-destroying fungus. If the roots are not 
too severely injured, the trees will recover if the soil is 
treated with - hydro::yquinoline sulphate (84, 85). 

(d) I nsects 

Of more than 20 insects having hemlock as host, 
only the hemlock looper, Lambdjoia f^scetl^Tia and the heralock 
borer, Melansphila fulvog uttata are economically important. 
The hemlock looper is a defoliator which reduces the abundance 


of hemlock when it becomes prominent. Graham (43) indicates that 
where the upper crown canopy is composed of 75% or more of hem- 
lock, extremely dense modulations of hemlock loopers develop, 
completely defoliating and killing all hemlock trees. When the 
proportion of hemlock is low, the insects are few and cause 
little or no injury. Hemlock borers attack the trees when they 
are in a weakened condition, such as from drought. Graham (43) 
states that these insects cannot complete their development in 
healthy trees. 

(e) Disease 

Hemlock is surprisingly free from serious diseases. 
Worthy of note are Forties pini , a trunk rot found in mature trees 
an< ^ Armillaria roellea, a shoestring root fungus, x^hich attacks 
trees when they are in a weakened condition (34, 43, 94). Young 
seedlings are also subject to damping-off. windshake is common 
in hemlock and the species is extremely susceptible to sulphur 
fumes (95). 

(f ) Weather 

Hemlock is seriously affected by drought conditions. 
Heavy mortality has heen recorded particularly on drier sites, 
ridge tops, southern exposures, shallow soils and steep slopes. 
The shallow rooting system of hemlock makes it more susceptible 
than most other species to drying out of the upper soil surface. 
Secrest et al (94) found that during severe drought conditions 
no annual rings are put on in the lower portions of the tree al- 
though rings are put on in the upper portions of the tree. No 
rings are put on for a 2 to 5 year period prior to the death of 
the tree. Lutz and Cline (66) and St5,okel (101) report that 
during dry summers there is a heavy loss of seedlings (see also 
3 (d) and 6 (a) this report). 

Hemlock is able to withstand damage from ice storms 
extremely well (15, 31, 53, 56, 96). Greater resilience of the 
branches, smaller upper crown, and branching habits better adapted 
mechanically to resist weight on the crown probably account for 
this . 

Winter browning can occur when warm weather along 
with bright sunshine and drying winds come after the soil is 
frozen. The foliage above snow line to a point 2 or 3 feet above 
turns brown and defoliation may occur. Stoeckeler and Rudolf 
(103) working from the Lake States Forest Experiment Stat?lon re- 
port that recovery from this condition the following summer is 
usually good. Trees with up to 41% defoliation suffered no mort- 
ality. 16 

Frost damage to seedlings is not common but 
occurs occasionally on south facing clones. Loss from wind- 
fall is not great except iu a wet situation. 

(g) Biotic 

Hemlock can be adverse!}?- affected by deer, 
porcupines and varying bares. These animals eat the foliage and/ 
or bark of the tree. In addition, red squirrels, chipmunks, and 
some birds eat the seed. Numerous references indicate that hem- 
lock foliage is a preferred food of deer. Maynard et al (73) 
reports that in cold weather (0° F and below) hemlock is eaten 
in greater quantity than in warmer weather. Reports from Wis- 
consin, Michigan, i enncylvania and Algonquin Park, Ontario state 
that in areas with heavy deer populations, hemlock seedlings 
are browsed close to the ground repeatedly year after year so 
that they never have a chance of becoming established (12, 34, 
44, 54, 100, 105). Brown and Curtis (12) in Wisconsin and 
Graham (45) in Michigan warn that this could result in the 
forest developing into almost pure hardwood with virtually no 
winter cover. Hemlock seedlings have been completely eliminated 
outside exclosures or have been seriously reduced in numbers in 
some areas of the U.;j. Usually only the foliage and small twigs 
of hemlock are eaten by deer but they have been reported eating the 
bark of young hemlock trees in some areas of heavy populations 
in Pennsylvania (18). Hhere deer browsing ores sure is high, 
seedlings should be protected. Grises (47) found that 
substantially larger numbers of stems of the commonly browsed 
s-oecies were found in slash piles than in intervening openings. 
The possibility for deliberately using slash to protect seed- 
lings might be considered. 

Hemlock is also a preferred winter food of the 
porcupine (11, 23, 102). Much of the feeding is foliage brows ing 
of larger trees and damage of this sort is difficult to appraise. 
Damage can be severe where the feeding takes the form of gnawing 
the bark, sometimes girdling the tree and killing it. 

Varying hares also browse young hemlock but Ostram 
(>_ G) reports that damage is usually considerably less than the 
damage by deer. 

(h) Fire 

Because of its shallow rooting system hemlock is 
particularly susceptible to fire in spite of its relatively thick, 


fire resistant bark. Ground fires- will destroy all hemlock re- 
generation and a fire following a clear cut will result in 
regeneration of pioneer species. Even a light fire may 
practically eliminate hemlock. To ensure the continuation of 
hemlock, Zon (109) states that complete fire protection is 
needed . 


Growing hemlock in Ontario within its natural 
range should not prove to be a difficult problem provided that 
the requirements of the species are recognised and provided for. 
Since hemlock will do better on cool moist conditions than on 
droughty ones, it would be advisable to concentrate management 
on these conditions. To achieve natural regeneration, the 
combination of (1) a seed source, (2) a suitable seedbed and 
(3) adequate light must be provided, .jcarification, either 
deliberate or accidental through logging activity in close 
proximity to standing, seed-bearing trees will provide the first 
t^?o requirements. A partial opening of the overhead canopy 
whether uniformly or in patches will give sufficient light and 
partial shade; a condition best suited to regeneration of 
hemlock. Similar light conditions are desirable if hemlock is 
to be planted. 

When hemlock seedlings become established it is 
possible that competition from hardwood seedlings may become 
severe, necessitating a cleaning to release the hemlock. As the 
overhead canopy closes in and light in the understory is reduced, 
removal of a portion of the over story to release the hemlock 
would be advisable. 

Where heavy deer populations are present planting 
of hemlock should either be avoided or the young seedlings should 
be protected from, browsing. Fencing the entire planted area, 
placing screening around individual seedlings, piling logging 
slash around seedlings, or using repellants are all possible 
methods of providing protection. 

Tvhere natural regeneration or advance growth of 
hemlock is already present in the understory a thinning or release 
cutting of the overstory will hasten the development of the hem- 
lock. Care must be taken, particularly on dry sites, that the 
overstory is not opened so much as to e:mor>e the understory hem- 
lock to total direct sunlight. 

Periodic thinnings as the stands progress 
through the polewood stage to maturity will insure that 
growth will be maintained at a high level. Fertilization 
may increase growth on sites which are deficient of nutrients. 

After growing out of reach of browsing deer, 
hemlock stands are generally not affected seriously by wildlife. 
On the other hand hemlock stands provide valuable winter cover 
for wildlife. 

As the stand grows to maturity it may provide a 
number of useful functions; erosion control on steet> slopes or 
shallow soil ridge tops, food and shelter for wildlife, pleasing 
vistas before achieving its final use as a wood product. 



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38. Friesner, R. C. and J. E. Potzger. 1934. Climax conditions and ecological 

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44. Graham, S. A. 1954. Changes in Northern Michigan forests from browsing by 

deer. Trans N. Amer. Wildlife Conf. 19: 526-533. 

45. Graham, S. A. 1958. Results of deer exclosure experiments in the Ottawa 

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47. Grizez, T. J. 1960. Slash helps protect seedlings from deer browsing. Jour. 

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48. Harlow, W. M. and E. S. Harrar. 1950. Textbook of dendrology, third edition. 

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50. Hosley, N. W. and R. K. Ziebarth. 1935. Some winter relations of the white- 

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51. Hough, A. F. 1937. A study of natural tree reproduction in the beech-birch- 

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52. Hough, A. F. 1943. Soil factors and stand history in a virgin forest valley 

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53. Hough, A. F. 1960. Silvical characteristics of Eastern Hemlock. Northeast. 

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54. Hough, A. F. 1965. A twenty-year record of understory vegetational change in 

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55. Hough, A. F. and R. D. Forbes. 1943. The ecology and silvics of forests in 

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56. Hough, A. F. and R. F. Taylor. 1946. Response of allegheny Northern Hardwoods 

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57. Hutchinson, A. H. 1918. Limiting factors in relation to specific ranges of 

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59. Koroleff, A. 1954. Leaf litter as a killer. Jour. for. 52: 178-182. 

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62. Kozlowski, T. T. and R. C. Ward. 1957. Seasonal height growth of conifers. 

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63. Leslie, A. P. 1945. Report on the storage of planting stock over winter. 

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64. Longwood, F. R. 1952. Heavy mortality does not always follow partial cutting 

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65. Lutz, H. J. 1928. Trends and silvicultural significance of upland forest 

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66. Lutz, H. J. and A. C. Cline. 1956. Results of the first thirty years of 

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67. Lyon, C.J. 1935. Rainfall and hemlock growth in New Hampshire. Jour. For. 

33: 162-168. 


68. MacConnell, W. P. and R. S. Bond. 1961. Application of herbicides with mist 

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69. Maissurow, D. K. 1941. The role of fire in the perpetuation of virgin 

forests of Northern Wisconsin. Jour. For. 39: 201-207 . 

70. Marshall, R. 1927. The growth of hemlock before and after release from 

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71. Martin, J. L. 1956. An ecological survey of burned-over forest lands in 

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72. Martin, N. D. 1959. An analysis of forest succession in Algonquin Park, 

Ontario. Ecol. Monog . 29: 187-218. 

73. Maynard, L. A., et al. 1935. Food preferences and requirements of the white- 

tailed deer in New York State. N. Y. State Cons. Dept . & N. Y. State 
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74. McElhanney, T. A. 1951. Canadian woods, their properties and uses. Forestry 

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75. McKinnon, F. S., G. R. Hyde 'and A. C. Cline. 1935. Cut -over old field pine 

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77. Miles, M. S. and E. C. Smith. 1960. A study of the origin of hemlock forests 

in Southwestern Nova Scotia. For. Chronicle 36: 375-390. 

78. Morey, H. F. 1936. Age-size relationships of Hearts Content, a virgin forest 

in Northwestern Pennsylvania. Ecology 17: 251-257. 

79. Nichols, G. E. 1935. The Hemlock-White Pine-Northern Hardwood Region of 

Eastern North America. Ecology 16: 403-422. 

80. Nienstaedt, H. 1958. Height growth is indicative of the relative frost 

resistance of hemlock seed sources. Lk. States For. Exp. Sta . Tech. 
Note 525. 

81. Nienstaedt, H. and H. B. Kriebel. 1955. Controlled pollination of Eastern 

Hemlock. For. Sci. 1: 115-120. 

82. Nienstaedt, H. and J. S. Olson. 1961. Effects of photoperiod and source on 

seedling growth of Eastern Hemlock. For. Sci. 7: 81-96. 

83. Olson, J. S. and H. Nienstaedt. 1957. Photoperiod and chilling control 

growth of hemlock. Science 125: 492-494. 

84. Olson, J. S., et al. 1959. Eastern Hemlock seeds and seedlings—response 

to photoperiod and temperature. Conn. Agric. Exp. Sta. Bull. 620. 

85. Olson, J. S., F. W. Stearns and H. Nienstaedt. 1959. Eastern Hemlock growth 

cycle and early years. Conn. Agric. Exp. Sta. Circ. 205. 

86. Ostrom, C. E. 1937. Deer and rabbit injury to Northern Hardwood reproduction. 

Allegheny For. Exp. Sta. Tech. Note 15. 

87. Pearson, P. R„, Jr. 1962. Increasing importance of sugar maple on two 

calcareous formations in New Jersey. Ecology 43: 711-718. 

88. Ripley, T. H. 1962. Tree and shrub response to recreation use. Southeast. 

For. Exp. Sta. Res. Note 171. 

89. Romell, L. G. and S. 0. Heiberg. 1931. Types of humus layer in the forests 

of Northeastern United States. Ecology 12: 567-608. 

90. Sargent, C. S. 1898. The silva of North America. Houghton, Mifflin & Co. 

Vol. XII. 

91. Sears, P. B. 1933. Climatic change as a factor in forest succession. Jour. 

For. 31: 934-943. 

92. Sears, P. B. 1942. Postglacial migration of five forest genera. Amer. Jour. 

Bot. 29: 684-691. 

93. Sears, P. B. 1948. Forest sequence and climatic change in Northeastern North 

America since early Wisconsin time. Ecology 29: 326-333. 

94. Secrest, H. C, H. J. MacAloney and R. C. Lorenz . 1941. Causes of the deca- 

dence of hemlock at the Menominee Indian Reservation, Wisconsin. Jour. 
For. 39: 3-12. 

95. Spaulding, P. 1914. Diseases of the Eastern Hemlock. Proceedings of the 

Society of American Foresters 9: 12. 

96. Spaulding, P. and A. W. Bratton. 1946. Decay following glaze storm damage 

in woodlands of Central New York. Jour. For. 44: 515-519. 

97. Spurr, S. H. 1956. Forest associations in the Harvard Forest. Ecol. Monog . 

26: 245-262. 

98. Spyridakis, D. E., G. Chesters and S. A. Wilde. 1967. Kaolinization of 

biotite as a result of coniferous and deciduous seedling growth. Proc . 
Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. 31: 203-210. 

99. Stearns, F. W. 1949. Ninety years change in a Northern Hardwood forest in 

Wisconsin. Ecology 30: 350-358. 

LOO. Stephenson, A. B. and R. L. Hepburn. 1958. Deer and forest regeneration in 

Algonquin Park. Brief presented to the Advisory Committee to the Minister 
of Lands and Forests, October 21, 1958. 

101. Stickel, P. W. 1933. Drought injury in hemlock-hardwood stands in Connecticut, 
Jour. For. 31: 573-577. 


L02. Stoeckeler, J. H. 1950. Procupine damage in a Northern Hardwood -Hemlock 
Forest of Northeastern Wisconsin. Lk. States For. Exp. Sta. Tech. 
Note 326. 

L03. Stoeckeler, J. H. and P. 0. Rudolf. 1949. Winter injury and recovery of 
conifers in the Upper Midwest. Lk. States For. Exp. Sta. Pap. 18. 

104. Stoeckeler, J. H., J. M. Keener and R. 0. Strothmann. 1958. Deer browse 
production from felled trees in the Northern Hardwood -Hemlock Forest 
type. Jour. For. 56: 416-421. 

.05. Swift, E. 1948. Wisconsin's deer damage to forest reproduction survey — 
final report. Wise. Cons. Dept . Publ. 347. 

.06. Taylor, J. C. 1959. A preliminary study of forest tree succession after 
clearcut of mature hemlock stands in Southwest Nova Scotia. For. 
Chronicle 35: 50-58. 

.07. Winget, C. H. and T. T. Kozlowski. 1964. Winter shrinkage in stems of forest 
trees. Jour. For. 62: 335-337. 

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expression of competition in northern hardwoods. Ecology 46: 786-793. 

.09. Zon, R. 1928. Timber growing and logging practice in the Lake States. U.S.D.A, 
Dept. Bull. 1496. 


The following publications were also used as source material although no 
direct reference is made to them in the text of the report: 

Anonymous. 1923. Hemlock. Department of the Interior, Canada, Forestry 
Branch Tree Pamphlet 4. 

Arbogast, C, Jr. and M. L. Heinselman. 1950. Damage to natural reproduc- 
tion by deer browsing. Ik. States For. Exp. Sta. Tech. Note 332. 

Atwood, E. A. 1941. White-tailed deer foods of the United States. Jour. 
Wildlife Mgt. 5: 314-332. 

Avery, G. S., H. B. Creighton and C. W. Hock. 1940. Annual rings in hemlocks 
and their relation to environmental factors. American Jour. Bot. 27: 

Baker, F. S. 1949. A revised tolerance table. Jour. For. 47: 179-181, 

Beals, E. W., G. Cottam and R. J. Vogl. 1960. Influence of deer on vegeta- 
tion of the Apostle Islands, Wisconsin. Jour. Wildlife Mgt. 24: 68-80. 

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b y 

H.R. TIMMERMAN, Biologist 
Thunder Bay District 


/in under standing of the basic ecology of Ruffed 
Grouse, (B onasa umbellus L.) is essential to its management. 
Ruffed Grouse habitat has been studied extensively with respect 
to plant species and plant densities, Edrainster (1947). Little 
if any work has been conducted on the less obvious environmental 
factors such as microclimate. 

Ruffed grouse select various cove:: tynes at 
different times of year. The differences in microclimatic 
aspects of temperature, wind velocity, and solar radiation have 
a significant effect on cover tyoe selection. Dennis (1^66) 
conducted a study on the selection of cover types by Ru'fed 
Grouse in Wellington County, Ontario, Much of the information 
collected during this study will be referred to in the following 
discussion dealing with grouse and microclimate. 


Bump, Darrow, Sdminster and Orissey (1947) devote 
915 pages and 16 years of investigational work in their monumental 
text, ''The Ruffed Grouse Life History, Lrcpagation, Management"'. 
The following generalities are the only clue given to describe 
the types of microclimate preferred by grouse. 

(a ) Brood Cover Ch oice 

Temperature, wind and atmospheric conditions might 

logically be expected to affect brood cover choice. There is a 

tendency for grouse broods to seek the mere ooen cover of hardwoods 

during cold periods and of conifers during warm weather. Overgrown 

land types and second growth hardwoods were found to be most 

frequented when temperature conditions were colder than normal. 

Young hardwoods and conifers and conifers alone were patronized 

more on excessively warm days. The deep, often moist, cool 

depths of older patches are also o : ton "roquented. Mature grouse 

are inclined to be ill o.t ease on windy days. Youngsters too 

normally move around less on such days. Grouse broods prefer 

30 " 

some type of cover during rainy weather and the more onen over- 
grown slash areas arc less well patronized at this time. The 
reverse tends to occur during sunny and cloudy weather. 

( b ) Adult Coyer Choice 

Birds are inclined to novo into mixed second 
growth hardwoods and conifers or thick conifers, on colder than 
normal days. Conversely, on warmer than normal days, adult grouse 
tend to move to some o r the more ooen r.ovev types deficient o r 
conifers. During windy weather, thick coniferous cover anpears 
to be less frequented. Uind normally seems to exert a minor 
influence in grouse cover choice. During snow storms the birds, 
as expected, are most likely to seek out heavy coniferous cover. 
However, no cover is completely shunned even in snowy weather. 
Rain seems to bother grouse less than snow. Fewer birds seek 
coniferous cover and more seek mixed second growth and conifer- 
ous stands . 

Ground conditions exercise a greater effect on 
grouse cover choice than is generally realized. There is con- 
siderable variation in type use, deoending on whether the ground 
is dry, wet or snow covered. 

( c ) Nesting covers 

Second growth hardx^oods arc predominantly used as 
spring nesting grounds. The presence of considerable summer :'ood 
and the more open character of under gr ox 7th and ground cover in 
this type, in contrast with that exist ing in most overgrown 
lands and slashings, may furnish a clue. 

Generally grouse choose the warmest sites in winter, 
the warmer roosting sites at night in summer and the coolest spot 
:o rest during a warm summer day, Hungerford (1951). In Idaho, 
Hungerford found greater importance in grouse use of various 
microclimatic zones than in cover tyres. This is due to the high 
elevations which range 7rom 3,000 to 3,500 r eet. Local differen- 
ces in climate are well recognized in sore fields but their effects 
on wildlife behaviour have scarcely been suggested. It is known 
that there &:ce great differences in microclimate between Forested 
and non- forested areas. It is also known that a forest clearing 
has a different microclimate :rom that of either the unbroken 
forest or non- forested land. It may well be, says Hungerford, 
that the microclimatic differences are o r>rime importance in 
raking the edges of clearings or o" cover types so attractive to 
wildlife. In Idaho, because of the mountainous terrain and the 
inversion phenomenon, the. ridges offer a warmer habitat in both 


winter and summer and night and day. 


Under suitable snow conditions, grouse tracks and 
roost sites are useful as indicators of the relative use that 
cover types producing different microclimatic conditions receive. 
The study carried on by Dennis (I960) examined microclimatic con- 
ditions in w inter and spring. 

(a) Cover type s 

Dennis ( 1966 ) conducted his studies on an area of 
125 hectares. The area was surveyed and a vegetation map prepared 
A total of 11 major cover types were established. The greater 
proportion of the study was conducted on two of these cover ty^es 
which are referred to in this naper as (a) and (b). 

Cover t ype (a) Area 8.15 hectares 

Upland Conifer 

i Most com mon species: 

.5 - 2.5 metres: white cedar, honeysuckle, elder- 
berry, nightshade, red osier, 

2.5-6 metres: scotch pine, white pine, x?hite 

spruce, norway spruce 

6 -:- metres: scotch pine, white pine, norway 


The tree canopy cover in. this oredominantly coni- 
ferous stand averaged 50%. Ground cover was moderate to heavy in 
all seasons of the year. Much white cedar regeneration had 
occured, and elderberry and nightshade were present in the more 
open areas. 

C over t ype (b) Area 4.27 hectares 

Bottomland Deciduous 

ii Most common soecies: 

.5 - 2.5 metres: red osier, dogwood, choke-cherry 

2.5-6 metres: trembling asr>en, white pine, white 

spruce, black cherry 
6-!- metres: white elm, white cedar, balsam- 


poplar, trembling aspen. 

This bottomland cover type was very open with 
only 15% canopy. Ground cover was heavy during the summer but 
more open in winter. 

Thus it can readily be seen that the basic cover 
type is coniferous and deciduous. 


Both Geiger ( 1965 ) and Upurr ( 1957 ) state that 
coniferous cover moderates temperature extremes. Conifers prevent 
a high percentage of solar radiation from reaching and heating the 
air mass beneath them, thus reducing daily maxima. Geiger goes on 
to say that at night a coniferous cover produces effects similar 
to those of clouds in an open area. These effects are caused by 
absorption of the radiation from the snow by the crown cover and 
reradiation to the snow surface. This reduces heat loss within 
the stand and results in a higher minimum temperature. Kittridge 
( 1943 ) states that evergreens are more effective in winter in 
reducing maximum and raising minimum air temperatures. Daily 
temperature extremes are much less in upland conifer cover types. 
A bottomland conifer cover usually has lower mean minimum, and 
maximum temperatures than an upland site. Here the effects of 
topography may be greater than vegetation. 

Dennis ( 1966 ) found that during January, February 
and March, the lowest density conifer stands produced the greatest 
daily temperature extremes. These are also areas containing a high 
percentage of deciduous cover. Deciduous stands oroduce more air 
mixing and hence greater daily temperature fluctuations (Geiger 
1965). The effectiveness of a forest canopy in reducing the in- 
tensity o" solar radiation increases with increase in (a) percent- 
age of crown cover (b) closeness of spacing (c) tolerance of species 
and (d) progression of natural succession towards climax ( Kittredge 
194C ). 

Dennis recorded temperatures in both cover tyoes 
(a) and (b). The highest mean maximum in both cover types occured 
at a height of 3 metres while the lowest mean minimum occured at 
15 centimetres, which approximates grouse height. Sparks and Buell 
( 1955 ) found a lower minimum at 20 centimetres than at 2 metres 
over snow. This lower minimum at grouse height ( 15 cm. ) may 
be partially due to the fact that snow radiates strongly at night 
and hence temperatures are lower nearer the snow ( Geiger 1965 ). 


Spurr ( 1957 ) found a similar situation in the Harvard forest. 
Figure I illustrates the mean minimum and maximum temperatures 
recorded under (a) and (b) cover types. 

A higher wind velocity occurs in a typical open 
deciduous cover type than in a coniferous cover type. Also 
higher x*ind velocity means increased dynamic convection resulting 
in a lower temperature near the ground during the day ( Geiger 
1965 ) . Both Geiger and Kittredge ( 1948 ) state that as wind 
velocity increases, the percentage penetrating the forest de- 
creases. Velocities in the forest are characteristically low, 
usually ranging from 1 to 2 m.p.h. on the average. Dennis ( 1966 ) 
found that with grouse at least two factors affect wind velocity. 
The first is cover density and the second is that there is a 
dependence on the position of the cover with respect to open areas. 
Sjx open field along a forest edge tends to increase wind velocity. 
Dennis recorded wind velocity for 322 grouse flushes over a two- 
year period. Of these, 310 sites had a wind velocity of less than 
1 netre per second. Two flushes were recorded with velocities 
between 1 and 2 metres per second and 2 flushes between 2 and 4 
metres per second. 

Grouse frequently day roost in areas where sola" 
radiation is unobstructed. i)ennis simulated a grouse by building 
a model which could duplicate average internal core temperatures . 
He found that the use of these day roosting areas, may have re- 
duced heat loss on surrrrj/ winter days. This reduction is caused by 
reflected solar radiation and insolating qualities of snow warming 
the surface of the bird. The warmed surface increases the ambient 
temperature and a decreased gradient between core and ambient 
temperature results. The capabilitjr of the surrounding air to act 
as a heat sink is reduced thus reducing heat loss by 50% during 
sunny days in late winter. During April, Dennis ( 1966 ) recorded 
a heat loss in a 15% canopy open cover type which was 537 less 
than the heat loss in a 95% conifer canopy. 

(a ) C over type variable s and buffed Grouse Utilization 

Utilization of cover tyoos by ruf <:ed grouse appear to 
depend on food, shelter and climatic factors within the cover tvnes 
( Dennis 1966 ). 

(b) W inte r loafing, feeding and roosting covers 

Marshall ( 1965 ) believed that the paramount factors 
affecting ruffed grouse behaviour during cold periods involved a 
quest for habitat that would minimize energy loss and for foods of 


FIG. 1 


1 1 1 1 

Mar. 2-7 Mar. 8-13 Mar. 14-20 Mar. 23-29 Mar. 30-Apr. 5 <- 



A-3 metres — i 
B-3 metres 


mean max . 
temp. °c 
above snow 
in cover 
types A & B 

4 A-5 metres— » 

A-15 cm. 

B-3 metres 


B-15 cm. _ 

mean mm . 
temp. °C 
above snow 
in cover 
types A & B 

high caloric value. Hunger ford ( 1951 ) celt that many forms of 
cover were used only because they were situated within the most 
suitable microclimatic zone. During the day mean maximum tempera- 
tures are higher in a more open canopy cover type. Hence solar 
radiation reduces grouse body heat loss to a greater extent in 
such an area than in a more sheltered cover type. Dennis found 
that solar radiation was able to penetrate the dense choke-cherry 
stands which provided protection from avian predators. 

During the winter most of the feeding is done on 
t3:ees. Aspen buds are a favourite grouse food at this time of year. 
Marshall ( 1965 ) indicated that flower buds of staminate aspen 
trees were a very rich source of fats and protiens. Cover types 
containing a good supply of mature aspen trees will be heavily 
used by grouse in January and February ( Dennis 1966 ) . Grouse 
may also supplement this supply with other foods such as night- 
shade berries and ash keys. Marshall also indicated that juvenile 
male grouse in Minnesota moved a limited amount the winter. 
Movements appeared to have been limited to leaving roost sites to 
feed on aspen buds and returning to day or night roosts, depending 
on the feeding period. "For actual roosting the younger conifer 
trees are chosen. Clumps of 3 or more trees from 2-6 inches 
DBH comprise a typical roosting site. The roosting perch is 
usually 8 - 10 feet above the ground. Dorney ( 1960 ) found 
that lightly crusted snow that grouse cannot penetrate, in cold 
weather can again become "soft" allowing birds to burrow under 
it. Exposure, cloud cover and wind as well as temperature all 
affect the crusting of snow. Above average winter temperatures 
may, therefore, be unfavourable to grouse. 

Snow roosting normally occurs during severe winter 
weather Edminster (1947). True snow roosting occurs when the 
grouse is completely buried. Partial snow roosting may also occur 
in both day and night roosting areas. The following table in part 
prepared by Dennis ( 1966 ) illustrates that snow roosting in cold 
weather would reduce heat loss when compared to tree roosting. 

As shown in Table I temperature ranges under the 
snow were much reduced from those above. As snow depth increases, 
temperatures under snow will be very close to freezing even 
though the air temperature may be as low as - 33°C (Geiger 19.65). 
The effect of snow depth was illustrated by the minima occuring 
during the periods January 3 - February 5, and February 19 to 
February 24. The mean above snow minima differed by only 0.2 ( ' C 
( -16.4 and -16.2°C ). During the same period the difference 
between the under snow temperature ( -4.0°C )and the above snow 
temperature ( -16.4 C ) was - 12.4°C while in the period February 


19 - 24 the difference was -9.2°C Grange (1949) feels that 
when snow roosting becomes impossible because of crusting, 
grouse become subjected to an increased rate of oredation. 
With hard snow, predators may hunt with greater intensity 
because the crust provides protection from grouse buffer 
species such as rodents. Snow roosts tend to make grouse 
vulnerable to fox predation. It appears foxes learn to look 
for breather holes which are always present when grouse are 
completely snow covered. Grouse often resort to trees, 
especially conifers for roosting, or when disturbed by a 
predator or intruder. 


Period Air temp 15 cm above snow 

, mean mi n °C mean max. 

Jan. 23 - 29 -11.6 -4.7 

Jan. 30. Feb. 5 -16.4 

Feb. 6-12 - 3.C 

F-b. 13 - 18 -12.2 

Feb, 19 - 24 -16.2 


denth Snow temp under snow 
, . cm mean mla °C mga n max . 

10' -3.9 -4.7 

















(c) S pring dr umming 3 feeding and nesting c overs 

In southern Ontario a shift in utilization o. r cover 
types usually takes place in late March or early Anril (Dennis 1966). 
At this time male grouse move to their spring drumming territories 
and a general movement from wintering habitat occurs. Palmer, 
(1961) found that ground vegetation Ttfas less dense and large- shrub 
and tree cover more dense in drumming site locations than in 
surrounding habitat. He believed that a combination of variables 
rather than vegetation density alone, governed the choice of 
drumming areas. Dennis found that the majority of drumming sites 
occured in cover having the lowest mean wind velocities and the 
highest minimum temperatures during the spring. All drumming sites 
observed were located under at least 60% canopy cover. 

Open cover types become ba.-:c of snow first in the sr>ring 
These areas usually produce the first succulent green 


plants on which grouse -reed extensively. Cover at the edge 
of these open spring feeding areas provides shelter and escape 
cover from predators. 

Female grouse nest and hatch their young during the 
May- June period. Male grouse usually remain on their drumming 
territories during this same time. Domey ( 1960 ) also found 
that high temperatures in May resulted 5.n above average age 
ratios and almost even sex ratios in fall. However, a cold 
May resulted in low production and a loss in adult females. 
High populations are less responsive to favourable May tempera- 
tures than low populations. 

(d) Summer brood co vers 

Abandoned fields and clear areas adjacent to cover 
provides a source of insect food. i^ienoptera and Coleoptera are 
the more important groups of insects to grouse ( Edminster 1947 ). 
Insects are primary contributors to the food supply of young 
grouse from hatching time to mid- July, During July and August 
a brushy understory is very useful to broods because it provides 
summer shelter with abundant insect life close to the ground 
( Bump 1947, Edminster 1954 ). Typical understory may consist 
of shrubs and herbs such as striped maple, choke-cherry, red 
osier, dogwood, jewel weed and various :ems, with sedges in the 
more open areas. This type of cover provides a lower maximum 
temperature to the broods than the more open cover types. During 
the moulting period (July-August) grouse broods are reluctant to 
flush ( Edminster 1947 ) . They tend to move into dense cover to 
avoid flushing. Dusting sites are usually established on ex- 
posed dry mineral soil or on dry rotted wood near old logs and 
sturros. These areas are usually situated in such a position as 
to take full advantage of solar radiation. Larsen ( 1958 ) 
found that warm days in spring and summer tend to be associated 
with a high grouse population the following April and warm days 
during winter tend to be associated with a low grouse population 
the following April. 

(e) Fall feed5_ng covers 

-..V. ~7„.. 

Dennis ( 1966 ) found that during the September - 
October period, due to the general availability of food and less 
c::treme climatic conditions, grouse tend to distribute themselves 
fairly uniformly in ail types of cover. During this period, the 
diet usually consists of fruits and leaves ( Edminster 1947 ). 
Birds tend to disperse as the brood structure breaks down in the 
fall. During November and December there tends to be a general 

regrouping of grouse activity occur ing from late fall to February. 
The groups disband when spring territories are established. 

Although the literature on Ruffed Grouse ecology 
covers many areas of investigation, the aspect of microclimate 
seems to have been barely scratched. Needless to say more exact 
documentation on the microclimate of preferred cover types is 
badly needed by game managers if this species is to be prooerly 
managed . 



Bump, G., R.W. Darrow, F.C. Edminster, and W.F. Crissey. 1947. 
The ruffed grouse: Life history, propagation, management. 
New York State Conserv. Dept. 915 nr> . 

Dennis, D.G. 1966. Selection of cover types by ruffed grouse, 
in Wellington County, Ontario. M.A. thesis, University of 
Guelph. 84 on. 

Dorney, R.S. and G. Kubat, 1960. Relation of weather, narasitic 
disease and hunting to Wisconsin ruffed grouse populations. 
Technical Bull. Ho. 20. Wise. Conserv. 63 pr> . 

Edminster, F.C. 1947. The ruffed grouse , Macmillan Co., 
New York. 385 pp. 

Edminster, F.C. 1954. American game birds. C. Scribner's Sons, 
New York. 195 - 242 

Geiger, R. 1965. The climate near the ground. Harvard Univ. 
Press, Cambridge, Ilass. Revised Ed., 611 pp. 

Grange, W.B. 1949. The way to game abundance. C. Scribner's 
Sons, New York. 365 pp. 

Gullion, G.W. 1961. A technique for winter trapping of 
ruffed grouse. J. I/ildlife Management 25: 428-430. 

Hungerford, K.E. 1951. Ruffed grouse oopulations and cover use 
in northern Idaho. Trans. N.A. T :".ldl. Conf. 16:216-224. 

Kittredge, J. 194G. Forest influences. McGraw-Hill Book Co., 
New York. 394 r>v>. 

Larsen, J. A. and J.F. Lahey. 1958. Influence of weather upon 
a ruffed grouse oooulation. Journal of Wildlife Mgt. 
22(1): 63 - 70. 

Marshall, W.H. 1965. Ruffed grouse behavior. Bio Science 15(2): 


Palmer, W.L. 1961. A study of ruffed grouse drumming sites in 
northern Michigan. Mich. Dept. Conserv., Game Div. Dent. 
No. 2337. 40 pd. 


Sparkes, C.H. and M.F. Buell. 1955. M5.croclimatological 
features of an old field, and an oak-hickory forest 
in New Jersey. Ecol. 36:363-374. 

Spurr, S.H. 1957. Local climate in the Harvard Forest. Ecol. 




J.M. COLLINS, Biologist 

Ontario Waterfowl Research foundation 
Guelph, Ontario 


The major objective of this study was to obtain 
the background information necessary to produce a management 
plan for hunting on the Walpole Island Public Marsh. Waloole 
Island Indian Reserve has an area of some 150 square miles 
(Harrington 1965), which can be divided into three distinct 
areas: the wooded area, primarily at the north end of the 
island; the cultivated farmland, in the central portion of 
the island; and some 20,000 acres of marshland, at the south 
end of the Island. 

Approximately 15,000 acres of the wetlands are 
leased to six private hunting clubs. The remaining 5,000 acres 
(the 'public Marsh 1 ) is not leased, but is managed by the 
^Jalpole Island Indian Band. Public waterfowl shooting is pro- 
vided there for non-Indians, who pay a fee for the privilege of 
hunting, and who must be accompanied by an Indian guide while 
hunting. The Public Marsh is centrally located in the midst of 
the marshland, adjacent to the six large leased marshes. 

1. iqgTORY 

A major drainage programme has been completed in 
the last 10 to 15 years, converting about 3,000 acres of marsh 
into farmland. Presently, the farmland is used almost exclusivel}' 
for growing corn* A few acres of so3/beans are grown annually. 
The 20,000 acres of marsh which remain undrained lie adjacent 
and to the south of the reclaimed farmland. Large flocks of 
ducks feed in the cc::nfields once harvesting is underway. This 
is accepted as the. normal practice by the IJalpole residents, 
indicating that the pattern has been established for some time. 
Several persons did comment that the number of birds feeding in 
the c ields has increased with the increase in the number of acres 
o" corn being grown adjacent to the marshes. Birds in the r>ast 


may have fed some distance inland, off the Island, but now can 
concentrate on the newly farmed fields on the Island. 

Work was begun in the r*ast T ew years to convert 
the Public Marsh to a controlled water-level marsh. Dyking has 
been done by drag- line and the fill has been levelled and 
racked to create an access road to the edge of Johnston's Bay. 
As r>art of the dyking operation, a ditch three to five feet 
deep was dug around the Inside perimeter of the marsh, thus 
providing a channel for boat travel. A ditch running east- 
west was also dug b}' drag-line, to access by boat to 
shooting ponds located in the middle of the marsh. 

The dyking operation is now complete exceot for a 
section of approximately one and one half miles along the east 
edge of Goose Lake, tihen this section is completed, it will be 
possible to control the water level on approximately 2,500 acres. 

Two small pumps, tractox 1 - driven, pump water from 
the Johnston Channel into the marsh. Also, a larger pumo, driven 
by automobile engine, has been installed next to the marsh, to 
punm> water from the farmland into the Johnston Channel. 


The Public Marsh is at present densely overgrown 
with emergent vegetation. There are relatively few areas of 
o pen water. .As a result of the low water levels on Lake St. 
Glair in the early 1960's, large portions of the marsh bottom 
were exposed, and only shallow water oersisted on the remaining 
areas. These conditions favoured the growth of cattails and 
sedges and resulted in the abundant growth of vegetation that 
now persists over most of the marsh. 

The level of the lake has -risen, so that much of 
the marsh is now covered with 18 to 24 Inches of water, with three 
to three and a half feet of water in the ponds. There are two 
<xcy areas in the marsh — one in the northeast and one in the south- 
east- -that support mixed stands of grasses, sedges, goldenrod, 
daisies, and other 'dry- land 1 slants. The wet portion of the 
marsh is covered with stands o; T cattail, cattail-bulrush mixed, 
bulrush, with some ohragmites ('quills 8 ) along the dyke edge. 



(a) Feeding p atterns 

The most conspicuous pattern, of waterfowl behaviour 
observed was the feeding activities of large flocks of dabbling 
ducks, mainly mallards and blacks, with some pintails, in the 
cornfields north and east of the Public Marsh. Throughout October 
end November, large flocks (often totalling in excess of 10,000 
birds) moved to the cornfields from the marshes twice a day -- 
in the early morning and late afternoon. Rain, wind or fog dis- 
rupted this pattern somewhat. Then the birds moved to and from 
the fields throughout the day. 

The normal weather, flights from the marshes to the 
cornfields began just before daxm and continued for about an hour. 
By the end of the hour, birds started leaving the cornfields and 
returning to the marshes. The large flocks left the cornfields 
about two hours after sunrise. In the afternoon, there was no 
'beginning time' for arrival in the fields. Rather, the number 
of small flocks moving to the fields increased steadily through** 
out the afternoon. Departure for the marshes after feeding was 
sporadic until just before sunset. Then numerous flocks of 
several hundred birds each left the cornfields together, breaking 
up into smaller flocks as they approached the marshes. 

A crew from the Canadian Uildlife Service (usually 
including the author) conducted weekly aerial surveys of the 
waterfowl populations on the Lake St. Clair marshes. Counts of 
waterfowl were made at mid-day every Sunday throughout the hunting 
season. During these mid-day surveys, few birds were seen on 
the Public Harsh. Large concentrations of dabbling ducks (mostly 
mallards and blacks) were however, present in the sanctuaries of 
tltc neighbouring marshes, particularly St. .Anne's Marsh and the 
marsh leased by Bradley Brothers. 

The majority of the birds seen on these surveys were 
in the resting or refuge areas, rather than in the feeding sanctu- 
aries. Several marsh managers reported that little of the gram 
put out in the feeding areas was being eaten, indicating that the 
birds were obtaining sufficient food in the fields to satisfy 
their nutritional requirements. 

The hunting pressure and the progress of the corn 
harvest had a direct e :fect in determining which fields were 
utilized by the ducks. The first fields harvested (by picker and 
sheller) were directly north of the Public Marsh. The 


birds moved into these fields almost immediately, with the hunters 
(Walpole Island residents) not far behind. The abundance of 
hunters in the few fields yet harvested produced intense hunting 
pressure with the result that most of the ducks were frightened 
off. However, the com harvest proceeded at a rapid rate, each 
day making more fields available for feeding. The ducks and 
hunters, were then dispersed over a wider area, hunting pressure 
decreased, and the number of b5.rds field feeding increased. This 
in turn attracted more hunters into the fields . 

At this time, the corn harvest began on St. Anne's 
Island, north of St. Arme's Marsh. Because St, Anne's Island is 
an island, it is inaccessible to most of the hunters. Consequently 
the ducks quickly shifted to St. Anne's, where they could feed 
with only a little disturbance. By the end of October, thousands 
of ducks were feeding each morning in those fields. Heavy feeding 
continued there until most of the dabblers migrated out of the 

The shift in feeding sites, from Walpole to St, 
Anne's Island, and the increased visibility given the ducks by 
removal of most of the corn, drastically decreased the hunting 
success in the fields. Many hunters lost interest. By November, 
it was possible once again for ducks to feed relatively un- 
disturbed in many of the fields north of the Public Marsh. 

(k ) Flight patterns 

The ducks which fed in the. cornfields were mallards, 
blacks, and some pintails. These are the ducks preferred by the 
hunters, i.e. the paying customers, so the 'lock movements of 
these ducks is extremely important to hunting success. For ex- 
ample, mallards and blacks made up 74% of the kill of all ducks 
by non-Indian hunters, in 1968. 

In the morning the ducks came to the fields from 
every direction but the north. After feeding, they returned 
to several distinct areas within the marshes, following one o : 
three flight lines. In the afternoon, the same three flight 
lines were followed, in the reverse direction, back to the 
cornfields. However the flocks adhered to the flight lines less 
than in the morning, small flocks 'wandering about' on the wa] 
to the fields. After feeding in the afternoon, the birds 
dispersed in many directions, toward the marshes, generally 
ignoring the flight lines. Flight lines often shifted as a 
result of wind, rain o:' snow, fog or hunting pressure in the 
rarshes or the cornfields. 



The important thing to note concerning these 
flight lines is where they ended. At mid-day, the ducks sought 
out a quiet undisturbed loafing area. Good loafing areas appear- 
ed to be scarce, since most of the ducks could be found concen- 
trated in a few acres. Xiring the two periods of field- feeding, 
ducks were not so critical. They often returned to the same 
cornfield for several successive days in snite of moderate hunting 
pressure. This was particularly evident on one portion of St. 
Anne's Island, where the ducks became especially unwary, probably 
because of the extremely large flocks feeding there. In the 
evening, the ducks were even less choosy about finding a resting 
spot. Apparently 'any -?ort in a storm 1 applies as darkness 
approaches . 

(c) Kinds and numbers of waterfowl 

Almost every species of waterfowl found in eastern 
North .America can be found in the Lake St. Clair area at sometime 
in the fall. The fall of 1968 was no exception. The species most 
commonly observed were mallard, black., widgeon, canvasback and 
redhead. Because diving (or bay) ducks were virtually ignored by 
most hunters, emphasis throughout this report is on dabbling 

The weekly aerial surveys :;ave a grand total of 
142,500 dabbling ducks counted on four Ualpole marshes, between 
October 1 and December 16. The four marshes were St. Anne's 
1-iarsh, the Smith or Bradley Marsh, the Anderson Harsh, and the 
kr.blic Marsh. The counts for each marsh are given in Table I. 


(a) J^Qt^^succass^ 

Between October 11 and November 8, 1968, it was deter- 
mined, by personally interviewing hunters and/or guides, the results 
of 122 daily hunts. In 122 hunts, 500 ducks were killed, and 121 

To determine the total number of ducks killed in the 
season, the following calculations were made: 

i. The total sale of daily hunting permits 
was 150 o -ermits 
ii. Each daily hunt bagged 4.1 ducks 


iii. 1500 daily hunts 35 4.1 ducks - 6,150 
ducks bagged 
iv. Each hunter with a season Dermit hunts at 
least 10 times in the season. ( At $150 
per season permit versus $15 per daily 
permit, a purchaser of the season permit 
plans to hunt at least 10 times. Some 
likely hunt more than 10 times, a few 
likely hunt less. Ten is a conservative 
v. The holder of a season permit shoots the 
same number of ducks per day (4.1) as the 
holder of a daily permit 
vi. There were 43 season permits sold in 1968 
vii. 43 permits x 10 hunts per season x 4.1 
ducks per hunt = 1763 ducks 
viii. TOTAL DUCKS BAGGED = 6150 -f- 1763 = ... 7913 ducks 
TOTAL DUCKS LOST = 1500 + 430 = ... 1930 ducks 

9843 ducks 
ix. .Total number of hunts - 1930 

The total of 9843 ducks killed is to be considered 
a conservative estimate of the total kill for these reasons: 

i. Most hunters were interviewed in the company of their 
hunting companions, and/or guide, often as they filled out their 
declaration slips permitting them to export their ducks through 
customs. It is unlikely that any hunters claimed to have shot more 
ducks than they actually did. 

ii. A few hunters admitted to shooting over the limit of five 
ducks, and giving the extra birds away. It is not known how many 
others did likewise, and did not admit it. The number of addition- 
al ducks killed this way is probably low. Several guides in- 
dicated that they refuse to let their hunters shoot additional 
birds because ducks #6 and #7 could be ducks #1 and i-2 for 
tomorrow's hunter. 

iii. The crinkling loss (birds shot but not retrieved) is 
probably in excess of the one duck per hunter day reported. 
Hunters tend to report .ewer ducks lost than in fact were lost be- 
cause of 'the wastefulness' asnect of losing ducks. Many of the 
hunters interviewed 'couldn't remember' how many ducks the}'' had 
lost. Several gave estimates lower than their guide later re- 

Therefore, it nay be concluded that the total kill by 
non- Indian hunters, on the Public Marsh and adjacent cornfields 





St. Anne's 















M- V ■ ■ ■III- ■ H ■ ■ ■ ~ ,., , 




Long Point 






Holiday Beach 



Luther Marsh 







o P 

** from annual reports, Ontario Department of Lands and Forests 


was In excess of 10,000 ducks. 

How does the hunting success here compare with 
hunting success elsewhere? A success rate of 4.1 ducks per 
hunter day when the bag limit is 5 is phenomenal. It compares 
favourably with the success on the neighbouring marshes (approx- 
imately 4.5), and contrasts drastically with success on public 
shooting grounds elsewhere in Southern Ontario (Table II). 

(k ) Reven ue cro m hunt ing 

*• Ferrc it fees 

Any non- Indian hunting on the Public Marsh 
must have a Walpole Island Hunting Permit. There are two types 
of permits; a season's permit which costs Si50, and a daily 
permit which costs $13. The permit system was introduced about 
1952, with a daily permit only, at a cost of $5 per day. A short 
time later, the season permit, costing $100 was added and the 
daily fee increased to $10. In 1967, the fees were again increased 
to the present rates. The increase in permit sales, and revenue, 
over the past 10 years is illustrated in Table III. 

ii • Guide fees 

Approximately 15 band members throughout the 
hunting season devote their full time to guiding hunters in the 
Public Marsh. In addition, there are 15 to 30 part-time guides 
who are called upon when a regular guide has more hunters coming 
on one day than he can handle. 

The number of full- tine guides has remained 
relatively constant for the past few 3'cars. A gentleman's 
agreement has been effective in determining which areas of the 
marsh are used by which guides. Most of the marsh has been 
divided under this arrangement and any areas remaining unoccupied 
are considerably inferior with regard to hunting success. 

For a person entering the guiding business, a 
fairly substantial initial investment is required for such items 
as: boat(s), motor (s), decoys, waders, and raingear. Also, tools 
and materials must be obtained for building blinds and cutting 
shooting ponds. Time and labour must be spent in constructing 
blinds, and contacts must be made with potential clients. These 
factors plus the absence of more good hunting areas have served 
to keep the numbers o r: guides relatively constant. 














$15, $150 


10, 100 






















•'-!- total estimated; 1,434 daily permits sold by end November 
'} from Harrington, 1965 


The daily fee for guiding services is set by each 
individual guide, and varies somewhat among the various guides. 
Many of the hunters interviewed had paid $20 per man per day. 
Usually one guide accompanied two hunters. Some of the hunters 
considered the guide fee they paid to be a personal matter, and 
declined to give this information. Others indicated that they 
had hired a guide on a seasonal basis, and could not ( or would 
not) estimate the daily rate. None of the hunters Interviewed 
thought the guide fee to be excessive. 

Lacking more precise information than the above, $20 
per man oer day is used as the average guide fee paid in 1968. 
The income to all guides, before operating expenses are deducted, 
is estimated as follows: 

1500 daily hunts at $20 ner hunt $30,000 

430 hunts on season permits at $20 . . 8,600 

iii. Total revenue from hunting, 1968 

Permit sales $20 , 950 

Guide fees 30,600 


( c ) Efficiency of the present hunt inn; methods 

There appears to be three possible methods 
of conducting the hunt on Jalpole Island: 

1. Attract a large number of hunters, each paying 
a large sum of money for a day's hunt. 

2. Attract a smaller number of hunters, each 
paying a large sum of money for a day's hunt. 

3. Attract a large number of hunters, each paying 
a small sum of money for a day's hunt. 

Method 01 i;?ould obviously bring the greatest financial 
return to the Band. However, a duck hunter must receive a duck 
hunt worth a lot of dollars to induce him to pay a lot of dollars. 
Ouch a hunt is carried out in an undisturbed manner, without inter- 
ference from other hunters, and with an abundance of ducks, and 
ample shooting opportunities. But duel: hunting is such that it is 
impossible to have this type of hunting when large numbers of 
hunters are using an area. Therefore, method #1 is not possible. 


Method (rl is presently being used, and it is 
successfully providing a considerable anount of revenue to the 
Walpole Indian Band, Its continuation denends on the Public 
Harsh continuing to provide a hunt worth a lot of dollars. If 
the quality of the hunt declines, so will the number of hunters. 
Other hunters, who are less interested in the quality of the 
hunt, will be required to replace the lost revenue. These hunters 
are rarely prepared to -oay much money Tor the opportunity to hunt, 
so that large numbers of hunters are necessary to produce the same 
revenue. Method #3 would then be operating. However, it is 
nrobably impossible to attract the larcge numbers of hunters re- 
quired for method #3 to be able to compete financially with method 

For example, in 1963, some 2,000 hunters paid 
$28,950 for permits to hunt on Walpole Island, and $38,600 for guide 
services. This amounts to approximately $35 per man for one day's 
hunt. At $10 per man nev day, almost 7,000 customers would have 
been required to provide the same revenue. In a duck season ten 
weeks long, this would mean 700 hunts per week. At $5 per man r>e?: 
day, 1400 hunts per week would have been required. 

The decrease in the hunting success with 700 hunts 
per week would be so drastic that it would be most difficult, if 
not impossible, to induce 7000 hunters to pay $10 for a day's 
hunt. It would be difficult when waterfowl hunting is 
available elsewhere, on provincial!}' operated units, for $4 per 
blind per day, two men to a blind. Therefore it may be concluded 
that the present method, whereby a moderate number of hunters each 
pay a considerable sum of money to hunt, is the most efficient and 
profitable means of providing revenue to the Band. 

( d ) Factors affect ing present h untin g operations 

Since method #2 is the best method, it is important 
to understand the factors that allow it to operate so successfully. 
The primary factors are: 

i. Hunting success 
ii. Number of ducks in immediate area 
iii. Cost of hunting in the Public Marsh 
iv. Frosrfjnity of Walpole Island to the Detroit- 

Grosse Pt. - St. Clair Shores complex 
v. Difference in bag limits between Ontario and 


i. Hunting success; 

The outstanding feature of hunting on Walpole Island is the 
success each hunter lias, day in, day out, week in, week out. 
This is what the hunters rave about ...... 'best place in North 

America, can come anytime and shoot a limit'. 

ii . Number of du cks in the im mediate area: 

There are tremendous numbers of ducks in the Lake St. Clair 
area in the fall, so that the hunters can be selective as to the 
kinds of ducks they shoot. Of the ducks shot on the Public Marsh, 
58% were mallards, whereas mallards composed only 28% of the total 
waterfowl kill in Ontario in 1968. The continuing high rate of 
hunting success throughout the fall is clue, in a large part, to 
the continued presence of large numbers of ducks until late in 
the season. 

i ii. Cost of hunting in the Public Marsh 

The high cost of a day's hunt contributes directly to the success 
of the present system, for several reasons. The cost prohibits 
all but a few individuals from hunting on Walpole Island. Because 
only a few persons can afford to hunt, the hunting pressure is 
moderate, and evenly distributed throughout the season. With only 
a few people hunting, the pressure on any given day is low. Host 
of the hunters, however, return several times in the season, so the 
total number of hunts is moderately high and a good revenue is 
provided . 

Distributing the hunting pressure over the entire season helns 
to maintain the high level of hunting success. This method 
contrasts with the 'opening day' syndrone that occurs throughout 
the rest of the province when approMirmtoly 75% of the season's 
kill is taken on the first two weekends, and local duck populations 
are often 'burned out*. 

The cost of hunting on Walpole Island includes payment for the 
services of a guide. The present guide fees, while adding consider- 
ably to the cost of hunting, are attracting excellent guides. The 
presence of a guide in the blind contributes in a large way to the 
hunter's success, and his subsequent return at a later date. The 
presence of a guide accomplishes what a long list of rules and 
regulations attempts to do on government controlled waterfowl 
units, and does it in a friendly way. The guides are in many ways 
responsible for the quality of hunting in the marsh. 


iv. Proximity of Walpole _Island to the Det roit area : 

With cost playing such an important role in the system, it 
is obvious that the operation is successful as a business venture 
because it has a wealthy Dooulation from which to obtain its 
customers. The 1968 permit sales showed that 7% of the hunters 
were from Ontario, but 93% of the hunters were American; 74% were 
from Michigan, 12% from Ohio, and 7% from the remaining states. 
Almost all of the Michigan hunters came from the Detroit-Grosse 
Point - St. Clair Shores area, an hour J s easy drive to Walpole 
Island. The appearance, attitudes, occupation, and home address 
identified the hunter as having a substantial income. 

v. Difference in bag l imits be tween Ontario an d Mic higan: 

Many hunters expressed dissatisfaction with the short season, 
and the low daily limits in effect in Ilichigan. For example, the 
196G season ran from October 10 to November 8. The daily bag limit 
was 3 ducks, not more than 1 mallard, 1 black duck, 2 wood ducks, 

1 canvasback or 1 redhead. The increase in the sale of Walpole 
Island permits is undoubtedly due to the longer season and more 
liberal daily limits in Ontario. The 1968 season opened in south- 
em Ontario on October l j and closed on December 14. The daily 
bag limit was 5 ducks, not to include more than 2 canvasbacks or 

2 redheads, or more than 4 wood ducks. 

The bag limits in Michigan are not likely to be increased to 
five in the foreseeable future. Ontario limits may go down, but 
will likely remain above the Michigan Limits. As long as there are 
duck hunters in Michigan, they will tend to be drawn to Walpole 
Island. However, it is possible that the bag limits can become 
reduced to the point that hunters will give up hunting, particularly 
if costs are considered to be unreasonable. 

In summary, the present operation is successful as a business 
venture because it has a wealthy population from which to obtain 
its hunters, and the hunters that come to Ualpole Island go home 
satisfied. The moderate hunting pressure, evenly distributed 
throughout the season, an abundance of ducks, and the high quality 
of hunting resulting largely from the guides' supervision, Droduce 
a satisfied hunter. 

(e) Atti tudes of the hunt ers 

In any other part of Ontario, the lack of customers 
able to r>ay the high cost of hunting would likely cause this tyr>e 
o :■:" hunting business to fail. It can fail here as well, if the 
customers become dissatisfied and consider the costs unreasonable. 


Steps must be taken therefore, to ensure that hunters are 

One source of dissatisfaction that now exists, is 
the cost of the Walpole Island permit. Many of the hunters in- 
terviewed considered the $15 fee to be excessive. The degree of 
dissatisfaction varied, however, with the hunting success that the 
hunter had on the clay he was interviewed. Fifteen dollars for 
five ducks is easier to accept that fifteen dollars for one duck. 

The reluctance to pay the Walpole Island fee 
might be overcome by indicating to the hunter what he is receiving 
for his money. The same person who complained that the permit 
fee was excessive usually was satisfied with the guide fee, which 
generall} 7, exceeded fifteen dollars. However, the hunter can see 

what he is getting from his guide a boat, motor, gasoline, 

decoys, a blind, a 'private 1 pond, and ducks . The return to the 
hunter from his permit fee is much less obvious. In fact, many 
hunters questioned whether they received anything in return for 
the money spent. 

I consider that the permit fee is each hunger's 
'rent payment 1 to retain the marsh as a hunting marsh. In this 
sense, the Band in 1968 received approximately $30,000 in rental 
money, in exchange for the use of the marsh by the public for duck 
hunting. I believe that the rent concept would explain to the 
hunters why there is a fee, and that it is worth making this idea 
known to the hunters. 

A potential source of dissatisfaction, and one that 
has apparently caused problems in the past, is having too many 
hunters in the marsh at one time. Too many customers is a problem 
a lot of businesses would like to have, but in this case, too many 
customers can destroy the product being cold, and consequently 
produce a lower revenue. Walpole Island is selling a specialised 
product -- top quality hunting — to a small group of people -- 
those prepared to hunt several times in a season, at $35 a day. 

The present financial success o.c the hunting busi- 
ness is a result of attracting 'repeat customers'. In the 196G 
season, hunters holding daily permits hunted an average of 2.5 
times on Walpole Island. Most hunters have been coming to Walpole 
for several successive years. The new customers had usually learn- 
ed of hunting on Walpole Island by word- of -mouth, or by accompany- 
ing a friend who had hunted on the Island previously. Thus, losing 
one customer can significantly affect the level of revenue, 
because his repeat business is lost, as well as that of his hunting 
companions . 


During the early 1960 's, which were years of 
low water levels on Lake St. Clair, large portions of the marsh 
were dry and unsuitable for duck hunting. The hunters were 
forced to hunt in a greatly reduced area. The decrease in permit 
sales in 1964 was probably a result of hunters being dissatisfied 
with the quality of the hunting under crowded conditions. 


If the private marshes of the Lake St. Clair region 
ceased to exist, the large concentrations of waterfowl there would 
become a thing of the past. The private marshes are probabl}/ best 
described as 'refuges on which some hunting takes place 1 . Personal 
interview with marsh managers, and a report by Bryant (1965) in- 
dicate that hunting pressure on the marshes is light. It is 
estimated that in 1968 the total bag for all private marshes in 
the Lake St. Clair area was approximately 10,000 birds, compared 
with an estimated bag of 3,000 birds on the Public Marsh. Aerial 
surveys revealed that the private marshes are used as rest:.n~ areas 
by large numbers of migrating waterfowl (Table I). All of the 
private marshes on Ualpole Island have feeding sanctuaries, and 
most have undisturbed refuge areas as well, which attract and hold 
the birds. Thus these large, lightly hunted marshes act as reser- 
voirs and provide birds for hunting on the adjacent Public Marsh. 

The sporting tradition associated with these 
private clubs, most of which have a long history, has given the 
members a strong conservation conscience. The rules regulating 
the hunt are often severe. St. Anne's marsh probably typifies 
the leased marshes on Ualpole Island in this respect. St. Anne's 
lias two feeding sanctuaries, and two refuges. The maximum number 
of hunters on one day in this 7000 acre marsh is eight, x*ith five 
the average. The marsh is hunted only four days a week; Tuesday 
afternoon, Wednesday morning, Friday afternoon, and Saturday 
morning. To reduce the number of crippled ducks, hunters do not 
shoot at flocks of ducks larger than five. The total bag runs 
about 1500 ducks oer year. Only 1500 ducks were shot, but 73,500 
dabblers and 108,000 divers were counted using the marsh this 
past fall. The hunting clubs have in effect created waterfowl 
refuges, and what is amazing is that they are willing to pay a 
considerable amount of money for the privilege of doing so. 

It cost the average hunter of the private marshes on 
Lake St. Clair $57 to bag a duck in 1964 (Bryant 1965). Obviously 
the hunter is buying more than a duck. The amount a hunter will 
spend reflects not the value of the marsh, but the value of the 
hunting on that marsh. To attempt an economic comparison of 


marshland to corn land, and ducks to corncobs, is to misunder- 
stand hunting values. 

At the time of lease renewal, it is most important 
to consider the Conservation history 1 of the club(s) concerned. 
How much has the club contributed to the value of the hunting on 
that marsh? To the best of the author's knowledge, the clubs have 
all been good tenants, in spite of the fact that most of the leases 
do not include •performance 1 clauses. 

The suggestion has been made that performance 
clauses should be included in any new leases, to protect the water- 
fowl population from over-hunting, by ensuring the continued good 
behaviour of the lessees. Such clauses would include an upper 
limit to the number of hunter-days allowed on each marsh in a 
season, might possibly set a limit on the number of ducks killed 
annually on each marsh, and possibly set down guidelines for 
management of the marshes. In my opinion, such clauses could not 
accomplish their intended purpose, and could have a detrimental 
effect on the waterfowl if the goodwill of the club members is 
lost. It is one thing for the clubs to voluntarily maintain the 
marshes as 'refuges 1 , but quite another thing to require them to 
do so. It would be unrealistic to restrict the clubs to the 
present total kill, considering the money the clubs spend on 
management each year. For the money spent, they are entitled to 
more ducks than they arc presently shooting. Therefore, to be 
acceptable to the clubs, the limits would have to be above the 
present total kill. If the clubs were inclined to shoot to the 
limits, the kill would increase beyond the present level. 

Second, a restriction on the total kill, or the 
hunting pressure (in hunter-days) would be almost impossible to 
enforce. Who is going to count the ducks shot and the number o^ 
hunters hunting? If the clubs are ejected to police themselves, 
why not trust them to manage the resource as they have been 
doing? It is wishful thinking to believe that merely passing a 
by-law will make people law-abiding, if they haven't been in the 

Third, any restriction on total kill and hunting 
pressure that is liberal this year might well be harmful five 
years from now. Waterfowl populations can fluctuate drastically 
from one year to the next. For this reason, federal waterfowl 
regulations concerning hunting are set annually, to adjust ~or 
these fluctuations in numbers of waterfowl. It would be most 
difficult to insert meaningful limits in a long term lease. 


Fourth, the proposal to set down guide-lines for 
marsh management assumes a greater knowledge of management tech- 
niques than actually exists. In fact, many of the local club 
managers knoitf more about marsh management than many waterfowl 
'experts 1 . The managers are open-minded with regard to suggestions 
for improving their marshes, provided the suggested techniques 
work. Guide-lines are not really necessary. Unfortunately, tech- 
niques with predictable results have not been developed as yet. 

The final argument against performance clauses is 
the performance of the clubs in the past, without any of these 
clauses. It has not been by accident that the clubs have created 
'refuges with some hunting'. The quality of hunting demanded by 
a person paying $57.00 to bag a duck regulates the hunting be- 
haviour more effectively than by-law ever could. There is of 
course one important, although unwritten, performance clause in 
every marsh lease, even now. When a lease expires, the Band 
Council can refuse to renew the lease if the performance of the 
lessee in the past has not been satisfactory. This is a two-way 
street, however. If unreasonable demands are made of the lessee, 
he may refuse to renew the lease. Such action could make it 
difficult to attract new tenants. Any prospective tenants are 
certain to determine the reason for the lease not being renewed, 
and they are likely to consider unreasonable demands made in the 
past as an indication of the future. 

6 . recohiendatioe : 

The present public hunting operation on VJalpole 
Island is efficient and profitable for the Band. Major changes in 
the system are not necessary. However, several steps should be 
taken to ensure that the system continues to be successful. Too 
many hunters in the marsh is likely to become an immediate problem. 
The number of hunters is now approaching the point where the 
quality of the hunting may begin to decline. 

Additional hunters could be accomodated successfully 
if more of the present marsh were utilized. Plight now, the north- 
east and south-east sections of the marsh are of little use to ducks 
(and therefore duck hunters), as those sections are high and dry most 
of the season. Flooding of the area, by pumping is not feasible. 
Putting enough water on this area to make it useful, would put too 
much water on the rest of the marsh. Enclosing the area with its 
own dyke is possible but expensive. The additional cost would not 
likely be matched by an equal increase in revenue. 

The best solution for making this area useful is to 


create a series of shallow ponds either with a drag- line, or by 
blasting with ammonium nitrate. Extra hunting would result, but 
in addition, pot-holes in a grassy area such as this attract 
nesting ducks, and could help increase production. 

For these ponds to be used for hunting, it is im- 
portant that the depth be controlled. fonds six feet deer- cause 
problems when you are wading, and you are only 5' 6" tall. Maxi- 
mum depth should be approximately 3 veet . 

A second improvement that should be made in the marsh, 
is to establish water-level control, by finishing the dyking ^re- 
ject. This entails running a dyke from Dynamite Cut north along 
Goose Lake and then connecting to the existing dyke. To minimize 
costs of moving equipment, the drag-line might be used while it is 
still at the marsh to dig shooting ponds, in the dry areas. 

The new dyke and ditch should be built in such a way 
as to prevent their being used as a new access route to the marsh. 
Much of the hunting depends on the flight patch which brings the 
ducks over the middle of the marsh. Travel back and forth along 
Goose Lake could disrupt this pattern. Going one step further the 
road should be closed on the dyke that runs east-west to the Romal 
pump. This would remove most of the traffic and the resulting 
disturbance along the north edge of the marsh. Consideration might 
also be given to establishing a 'no hunting zone' in the cornfields 
directly north of the marsh, where the ducks could field feed un- 
disturbed. Farming would proceed as normal but no hunting would be 
allowed. Two purposes could be served by such a refuge. First, it 
would provide a 'safe 1 area on WalpoXe Island, so that all the birds 
could not shift to St. Anne's Island to field feed. The refuge 
would keep birds closer to the Public Marsh, and create another 
flight over the marsh as the birds leave the fields, and move to 
the loafing areas. The second purpose would be to move the. east- 
west flight line closer to the marsh. Presently, hunting 5ji the 
fields directly north of the marsh pushes the east-west flight line 
north, away from the marsh. A 'buffer strip 1 between the marsh and 
the zone of field shooting should overcome this problem. 

The ability to control water-levels will overcome 
the Droblem encountered in the Dast, of the marsh 'shrinking' during 
years of low lake levels. But equally important, adjusting water- 
levels in the marsh is one way of changing the kinds, and amounts, 
of vegetation growing in the marsh. Therefore, plans for dyke con- 
struction and pump installation should include the means for getting 
water off the marsh as well as on. 


Another suggestion concerning efficient use of 
the marsh, is to create more shooting ponds over the entire marsh, 
not just in the dry parts. More openings would mean that each 
guide could have several ponds. By alternating shooting from 
pond to pond, no one pond would be shot out. 

While the steps just mentioned should permit more 
hunters to hunt without affecting the quality of hunting, the basic 
problem is merely postponed. It is almost certain that some day, 
in the not- too-distant future, there will be too many hunters for 
the public Marsh. The first, and most urgent sten to be taken to 
cope with the problem, is to determine how many are too many. 
This question must be answered soon, otherwise the answer may be 
learned too late, when hunters do not return, and the revenue has 
declined drastically. 

One very important clue to hunter satisfaction is the 
number of times a hunter returns in each season, and the number of 
hunters coming bach in successive years. When repeat business 
starts to decline, something is wrong. Consideration should be 
given to designing the records of the sale of hunting permits in 
such a way that information about repeat customers can be readily 

An attempt should also be made to develop a system 
to measure hunter success, throughout the season as well as from 
season to season. The declaration forms, which must be presented 
to customs when ducks are exported through to the U.S. are one 
potential source of this information. Another possibility is to 
design a hunting permit with a tear-off portion on which the hunter 
records his daily kill. The records would then be deposited at a 
centrally located collecting station. The name of the guide should 
also be included, since the guides could check the truthfulness of 
the records being submitted. 

The causes of a decline in the hunter success from the 
present high rates should be examined very carefully. If there is 
any indication that excess hunting pressure is responsible, correct- 
ive steps should be taken immediately. 

There appear to be several ways of coping with * too 
many hunters 1 . One way is to expand -oubiic hunting into one of 
the marshes presently leased to a private club. To lustily this 
move, the increase in income from public hunting will have to at 
least equal the money now received from the club including rental 
payments and wages paid to guides. The ei^ansion of public hunting 
into one of these lightly hunted nrivate marshes could drastically 
upset the waterfowl movements that presently make hunting on the 
lublic Marsh so successful. 


A second possible solution to the crowding problem 
is to make greater use of the field shooting opportunities. It is 
difficult to predict precisely the areas the ducks will choose 
each day for feeding. The resulting all-or-none aspect of field 
shooting apoeals to a few hunters but most of the Walpole hunters 
reject it for that very reason. They want their ducks. There- 
fore, field shooting has only a limited potential as a solution to 
the problem. 

A third, and probably the most unpopular solution is 
to set a hunter-day quota for the Public Marsh. I expect that 
excess hunting pressure will appear first on the few 'special 1 
days in the season — opening day (for example, Oct. 5, 1963), 
and Thanksgiving weekend, if the weather is right. Then most good 
Saturdays will be busy. Finally, to escape the crowd on the week- 
end, more hunters will come in mid-week. The quota system could 
therefore be introduced in stages: 

i.e. no more than X hunters in any one day 
no more than Y hunters in any one week 
no more than Z hunters in a season 

With the number of prospective hunters that are likely 
to come to Walpole Island in the future, this is to me, the only 
realistic solution. 

The waterfowl resource, unfortunately, is not limit- 
less. With the continuing decline in the number of mallards, it 
would be short-sighted to expand the Public Hunting area, and 
double the mallard kill on the Island. A quota on hunters will 
help to protect the resource, and the quality of the hunting. A 
resource which contributes so greatly to the revenue of the Band 
deserves to be protected. 

There is a resource which, as a potential source of 
revenue, has not yet been utilized. With proper management, it 
is possible that Walpole Island could support a large natural 
population of pheasants. Evidence is that even now there is a 
significant population of bob-white quail. Host c£ the duck 
hunters interviewed were enthusiastic about the possibility of 
hunting pheasants on Walpole Island. The customers are there. 
Good quail hunting would be certain to attract those hunters who 
own bird dogs, since there are few such hunting opportunities else- 
where in Ontario, or I'ichigan. 

It is imperative however , that the hunting be based 
only on natural population. liaising and releasing birds would be 
too expensive to be profitable. The quality of hunting released 


birds is definitely inferior to hunting wild birds. I suggest 
that like duck hunting, the key to success would be in providing 
top quality hunting for the top dollar. 

Pheasant hunting offers the advantage of a flexible 
open season, x^hich can be adjusted to suit the local conditions. 
It is possible that pheasant hunting could be used to attract 
hunters to the Island for a different period of time than the 10- 
week duck season. It night then become profitable for the Band 
to consider settling up a T club-house-motel-restaurant 1 business, 
vjfhen asked to suggest improvements in the hunting, almost every 
hunter requested 'a -olace to meet other hunters', or *a place to 
have a drink 1 , or 'a nlace to get a good dinner', or a 'good motel 1 . 
These hunters are wealthy. They have money to spend. They should 
be given the opportunity to snend more of it on Ualpole Island. 


The financial success of the hunting operation is due 
to the unique situation of the Public Marsh. It is located in a 
major rest area for migrating waterfowl. It i;; surrounded by 
'refuges' and is only a short distance from a large population of 
wealthy sportsmen. An abundance of ducks is available. The 
quality o; hunting is superb. Hunters realize this and are will- 
ing to pay in proportion to the quality. Loss of high quality due 
to crowding and excess shooting could have a deleterious effect 
on financial success. Steps to cope with this problem should be 
taken before it occurs. 



Bryant, J.E. 1965. Great Lakes water levels and migratory 
waterfowl, Ontario. A brief to the International Joint 
Commission on Great Lakes Level. Hiraeo report, -ilea 
with the Canadian Uildlife Service. 7 r>r>. 

Harrington, C.H. 1965. An economic survey of the Walooie 
Island Indian Reserve. Mimeo report. 67 pp.